I started several Basil seeds this Spring inside in some peat pods. I had about 6 plant starts and put them into a large planter pot after the plants were a few inches tall. I then left the planter pot outside in the daytime and brought it in at night until the weather was warmer.
I have been harvesting off the plants all Summer and Fall. I either just pick fresh leaves off the plants for spaghetti and lasagna sauce or dry them as shown above. I air dry the basil leaves for several days to completely dry them out. You can also place the drying leaves on a pan inside your oven with the light on to help accelerate the drying process.
Here is a photo of the leaves dried from the pan above. The dried leaves do shrink down considerably once they are all dried out.
I store my dried basil leaves inside a sealed jar until the next time I need them for a recipe. I gently crush the leaves which releases a pleasant fragrance and flavor into my favorite Italian recipes.
I have brought my planter pot indoors now and will be able to continue to grown new Basil leaves hopefully all winter long. So whether you use your homegrown Basil fresh in your cooking or dry it for further use, it makes for a wonderful additional to any dish that calls for Basil spice.