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Aug 21, 2006 06:41 PM

basil, but not pesto

I have lots of basil from my farm box this week, but don't really like pesto. any alternative suggestions so that it doesn't go bad?

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  1. stir fried thai noodles w/lots of basil
    pho tai (or your favorite kind of pho) w/lots of basil

    1. We're in the same boat: big bunches from the CSA every week for the past 6 weeks, and I don't really like pesto either. It keeps really well in a vase of water on the kitchen counter, which helps because I'm more likely to add it to things if I can just pull leaves off and chop them up. So, it's going into most vegetable dishes I'm making. I also whirled a big bunch with garlic and olive oil in the food processor and put it in a glass jar, topped with more oil. It's not really pesto, and not all that delicious, but it's keeping a nice green for later when the bunches stop coming (and I want to eat basil again). I've thought about trying some of the ice cream or sorbet recipes posted here in earlier threads, but I'm not sure we'd eat it.

      I've also started leaving basil at friends' houses when we go somewhere and are asked to bring a dish, excuse being that I've brought the basil for garnish. I also brought last week's bunch to work as a free giveaway.

      1. Not sure if you saw this thread a couple of days ago or not:

        1. thanks--i did not see that post when I searched earlier.

          1 Reply
          1. re: shivani

            I know... the searching takes some getting used to, but I didn't want you to miss out on that thread in case you hadn't seen it! Basil ice cream anyone?!

          2. Basil vinegar will keep for a long time. Wash and spin dry the basil leaves. Pack into sterile jar. Cover with vinegar that has been heated to a simmer. Seal. This does not require water-bath processing due to the acidity of the vinegar. For shorter storage any nonreactive lid can be used whether or not it will seal. When you are ready to use some, strain out the basil leaves.

            We prefer rice vinegar, but white wine vinegar also works well. This vinegar is especially good when made with red basil. A vinaigrette made with basil vinegar will help supermarket tomatoes a bit.

            Unlike basil oil, there is no danger of botulism caused by the botulin spores that are endemic in many soils and get splashed onto leaves by rain or sprinklers.