How to Use Fermented Herbs in Recipes

I have experimented with a number of fermentations–sauerkraut, pickles, kombucha and all manner of vegetables. But never have I tried fermented herbs. If this idea intrigues me as much as you, keep reading for Mary’s simple Fermented Basil recipe.

Herbs play a big role on our little homestead. I love growing and using herbs so much, that I even offer them to our animals.

During our normal growing season, I grow a huge variety of herbs in our outdoor garden plots. During the cooler months, I have a smaller variety growing in my kitchen windowsill.

Herbs are great for so many different reasons. Some make a great fragrance, others are wonderful for their medicinal properties, and many make great additions to recipes.

Do you want another way to preserve your herbs before they become wilted and die? Because let’s face it, herbs don’t keep for very long once they have been picked or cut. Have you ever tried to ferment herbs?

Fermenting herbs is simple, tastes great, and extends the time that you can enjoy their wonderful goodness. Add in the probiotic benefits that fermentation leaves behind, and I feel like this is a no-brainer for our home.

So, what are some common health benefits of herbs?

Common herbs and spices may help protect against certain chronic conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 80% of the world’s population uses medicinal herbs in their homes. 

This article contains additional information on some of the benefits of these common herbs: ginger, garlic, thyme, lavender, peppermint, and more. Also mentioned is dandelion; which is lesser known for its many health benefits.

So now that you’ve had some time to review the many benefits that herbs have to offer, I am sure that you are looking for ways to include herbs in your home. But, how do you include them in the fermentation process?

The answer is simple; all it takes is a salt brine.

Fermented Herbs–A Recipe

Fermented Basil


  • Approximately 1-2 cups of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • ½ -1 Tb of sea salt
  • Filtered water


  1. Remove basil leaves and add to Mason jar. For this recipe, I use a smaller jar, either a 4, 8, or 12-ounce size. This varies depending on your quantity of herbs. You’ll want to ensure that you fill your jar to the top with your herbs and press down.
  2. Next, peel and slice your garlic into medium-size pieces and add to the Mason jar.
  3. Add the sea salt to your jar and fill to the top with filtered water, making sure that your herbs are covered.
  4. Give it a gentle shake to mix up the salt in the water.
  5. Place your glass weight on top of your herbs and ensure that everything remains below the brine. 
  6. Assemble the rest of your Fermentools kit.
  7. Place your jar on a countertop, or in your pantry, and keep at room temperature for five to seven days.
  8. Periodically check on your herbs to ensure that they are staying below the brine and fermenting properly.

Ways to Use Fermented Basil:

  • Use the fermented basil and garlic to make a delicious fermented pesto sauce.
  • Add to the top of pasta or bruschetta as a garnish.
  • Include this fermented basil on an Italian-style cold cut sandwich.
  • Mix into Antipasto or pasta salads.
  • Add a few fermented basil leaves to make a Caprese salad.

There really are so many different possibilities, but as you see, I’m pretty big on the Italian style here. I think my Nana and Papa would be proud.


Fermented herbs can be used as a garnish or condiment to other foods. For more fermented condiments, like mustard, ketchup, and mayonnaise, click on the Condiments category in the sidebar.


Mary is a city girl from L.A who reluctantly married a real-life cowboy, gave up the life and career she knew for a simple, rural life in Nebraska. Here they raise three young children, several goats, chickens, ducks, and guineas. They focus on natural living, healthy eating, organization, minimalism, simplicity, and their traditional Catholic faith. Mary blogs at Boots and Hooves Homestead.

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