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What to do with tons of fresh basil and parsley?

a
ashii Dec 22, 2008 04:34 PM

I have a lot of extra fresh basil and parsley after making sauce and meatballs. I am going to chop and freeze some, and make some bruchetta, but with the holidays right now...
i wonder if people have some good ideas for which to use up the rest?

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  1. f
    fourunder Dec 22, 2008 04:49 PM

    I would recommend to make pesto...but if you are not into eating such things, it would be an expensive mistake.....

    Consider making infused oils. You can drizzle the oils into future salads, soups and pasta dishes.

    1. s
      smtucker Dec 22, 2008 06:27 PM

      I love this Batali hearty soup and it uses a "bunch" of parsley. Hard to believe that this much parsley would take good, but it does.

      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ma...

      1. s
        sarge Dec 23, 2008 06:44 AM

        I had the same issue a few months ago. I made Tomato-Basil soup. I used Ina Gartens recipe because it used alot of basil (4 cups if I recall), and it turned out great

        2 Replies
        1. re: sarge
          a
          ashii Dec 24, 2008 10:35 AM

          I love that idea... I am in MN, so it is colder than h***, so soup is on the menu for any meal :)

          1. re: ashii
            s
            sarge Dec 24, 2008 10:40 AM

            http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

            It was pretty easy to make, but I did have to invest in an inexpensive food mill, around $30.00. The flavor and texture were just right as I wanted it to be kind of rustic.

        2. julseydesign Dec 23, 2008 06:51 AM

          Pesto freezes really well, so if you do like it, try that. Just blend all your ingredients, without the parmesan, pour into an ice-cube tray, and freeze. Then you can store the individual cubes in a ziploc and use them as needed. It does work MUCH better if you leave out the Parmesan until you are ready to eat it, though. It will separate otherwise.

          Otherwise, try doing something non-italian with it, to mix it up. I know that thai basil is different, but you can always do a "thai inspired" dish like a spicy basil noodle stir-fry or something.

          1. c
            ciaociao1 Dec 23, 2008 07:06 AM

            You can try make this salad dressing---a big hit in my family. Here is the thread I wrote.
            Also to get the "basil paste" I mention I take basil and puree with a drop of olive oil and freeze in ice cube tray. Different than pesto.
            Then I defrost a cube every time I make this dressing.
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/545816

            1 Reply
            1. re: ciaociao1
              t
              todeinotaton Dec 23, 2008 07:09 AM

              What about basil cocktails? I remember having one at a bar in Albuquerque once called a basito (a basil mojito)... rum, lime juice, sugar and basil instead of mint. Maybe add some fresh cranberries to make Christmas colors!

            2. invinotheresverde Dec 23, 2008 07:10 AM

              My first thought is obviously pesto, but if that's not your bag, you can infuse vodka a/o gin with it. The vodka makes a killer bloody mary base, and the gin is great with anything!

              1. b
                burlgurl Dec 23, 2008 07:15 AM

                what about making a brine for your turkey?? Add a tonne of any leftover herbs..

                1. p
                  Pumpkinseed Dec 23, 2008 09:45 AM

                  Several people have metioned making pesto with the basil, a fine idea; and as for the parsley, you can use it up in tabbouli.

                  1. DockPotato Dec 24, 2008 12:19 PM

                    In a previous thread it was suggested to chop and freeze herbs in ice cube trays.

                    1. t
                      TampaAurora Dec 24, 2008 02:15 PM

                      What about Tabbouleh? Will use up the parsley and is a bright and delicious salad. I'm in Florida - perennial Summer which is obviously clouding my choice, but I don't get to make hearty, cold weather food too often. The high today was in the upper 70s.

                      1. l
                        lgss Jul 20, 2009 08:40 AM

                        There's a garbanzo salad that uses lots of parsley.

                        1. wasabi Jul 20, 2009 09:36 AM

                          For the parsley make tabbouleh or a batch of gremolata (essentially, a garlicky, lemony parsley pesto) that's great with grilled meats and soups.

                          For the basil, post pesto, I like to make basil simple syrup for poached fruits and cocktails. Really lovely with pineapple, especially. Make a batch of simple syrup (1 part water to 1 part sugar) bring it to a boil, bring down the heat. Give it a stir and let it simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and take off from the stove. While it's still hot, add a bunch of fresh basil (stems and all) to the liquid, submerge it and cover the pot. When it's cooled, strain out the leaves and place the syrup in a bottle to use whenever you need it. Mine usually lasts two weeks.

                          1. Funwithfood Jul 20, 2009 10:00 AM

                            Basil pesto. It freezes beautifully--I'm still enjoying my 2006 vintage, which tastes the same as day one. (And, you can add a spoonful of to flavor soups, etc.)

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