What do do with basil

Discussion in 'Herb Gardening' started by Ronni, Aug 25, 2020.

  1. Ronni

    Ronni Hardy Maple

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    I have a large basil bush still growing and getting bigger, And I use fresh basil a lot!! but there is no way I going to use it all before the cooler months destroy it.

    Suggestions please for how to preserve it? I’ve never tried to freeze or dry any king of herb and I’m clueless. Honestly I’d rather find some other way to preserve it than to just dry it so if any of you have ideas I’m all ears!!
     
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  3. mart

    mart Strong Ash

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    I can tell you what I do with fresh spinach and it works great ! You get a fresh taste ! Just wash and dry ,, then put a layer of leaves in a quart size plastic freezer bag ! Close almost all the way then roll it up to get all air out and close the top then lay flat and freeze ! You can also chop it up and add olive oil, put in ice trays and freeze ! When frozen put cubes in a freezer bag ! just take out what you need for a recipe !
     
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  4. Jo Parrott

    Jo Parrott New Seed

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    I just cut branches and tie them in bunches, hang them up outside in fresh air but not in sun or wind-- When they are dry just work with your hands and remove the leaves (you can put them in a big paper bag and shake it-) Then run the dry leaves through a food processor to finely chop- put them in a shaker container- I use them when I slow roast tomatoes, in sauces- whenever you need great basil taste!
     
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  5. spector

    spector Seedling

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    You can blanch it, then mix it with olive oil and freeze it in serving cubes.
     



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  6. marlingardener

    marlingardener Mighty Oak

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    Chopping fresh basil very fine and mixing with soft butter, then frozen in usable amounts, makes a great addition to pastas, or put a dab on grilled beef or chicken.
    I like to dry basil using Jo Parrotts method, but I leave the basil leaves whole in a glass jar and crush or pulverize when needed. Whole leaves have less exposure to air than ground leaves, and hold their flavor longer.
    For some reason, fresh basil is at a premium around here. It's so easy to grow, but nobody (except a few herb aficianados) does. I can give away all the excess basil I have. I've planted more than we need to be able to give away basil.
     
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  7. mart

    mart Strong Ash

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    You really can`t screw it up !! I would not blanch it if you want a fresh taste !
     
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  8. spector

    spector Seedling

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    If you don't blanch it, then freeze it, it goes mushy and turns brown in the freezer.
     
  9. marlingardener

    marlingardener Mighty Oak

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    I have never blanched basil, nor has it gone mushy and brown when frozen. Perhaps it is because I add just enough water to make a thick paste of chopped basil and then freeze it in tablespoon sized dollops on waxed paper. When the "basil balls" are frozen, I transfer them to a freezer container in layers, with waxed paper between the layers.
    Could have something to do with the variety of basil. We plant Genovese.
     
  10. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    This year, I made it into pesto, then froze it. Trouble was, it was bland when unfrozen. I won't do that again. Other folks have told me to process it in the food processor with olive oil and freeze that. Upon defrosting, add the other ingredients to make pesto. I think that is what I will try next time around.
     
  11. mart

    mart Strong Ash

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    I will never blanch greens of any type again ! I just wash and let dry,then put in a freezer bag and express all the air out,, lay flat and freeze ! Tastes just like fresh when you need them ! Try a couple of bags like this ! other than the ice cube trays this is all I do !
     
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  12. Odif

    Odif Young Pine

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    We make basil oil in the following way. Fill a jar halfway with fresh basil, making sure it has no black bits on it. Fill the jar with olive oil. We put the jar in a dark cupboard for 10 days, shaking the jar once a day. After this, we filter the oil and keep it for months and use as needed.
     
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  13. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    @Odif I am interested in this. How flavorful is the basil oil? Is it distinctly basil?
     
  14. Odif

    Odif Young Pine

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    @Cayuga, It is nice and adds a distinct basil flavour. We mostly use it for salads. Add more basil for a stronger flavour. The trrick is to keep it in the dark and to use good quality basil leaves.
     

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