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Ideas for leftover fresh basil?

HandPay Feb 4, 2012 10:12 AM

Bought a package of fresh basil for a pasta dish the other day. Last time I did this I ended up throwing out the rest because it was in the fridge too long and went bad. Any ideas what to make? Can you freeze it i wonder?

  1. LaLa May 18, 2012 09:18 AM

    basil lemonade!

    1. mamachef May 18, 2012 07:43 AM

      Make a basil-infused simple syrup and play around w/ libations....I had an outstanding basil "Nojito" once....and there are many other flavor combos to play with at the bar. You could also infuse vinegar with it and use it in many preparations. You can shred a few leaves into your salads - not too much, or it'll overwhelm. Make a "Gazpacho" w/ an Italienate flavor profile. Basil and pine nut shortbread is delicious.

      1. rakip May 18, 2012 06:46 AM

        If you don't think you can realistically finish up those bunches of cilantro and basil, share with a friend. I usually manage to use up half bunches - I live alone. Hate to waste.

        1. 1POINT21GW May 8, 2012 06:04 PM

          What about fire-roasted tomato and basil soup or making a homemade tomato sauce and freezing it?

          1. algct May 8, 2012 04:52 PM

            Pack it in sea or kosher salt. It will look ugly, but the flavor will be there if you need it in cooked dishes.

            1. j
              jvanderh Feb 4, 2012 11:40 AM

              Pesto!! Add any toasted nuts to the food processor, as much parm or similar as you want to use, and olive oil and garlic or even garlic infused vegetable oil until it comes together.

              1. gingershelley Feb 4, 2012 11:32 AM

                To have your fresh basil last longer, DON'T refridgerate it; put it in a water glass after trimming the bottom (like for cut flowers), and keep in a cool place in the kitchen. It will keep 3 times longer fresh.
                When it starts to wilt, if you haven't used it up, whiz it in a food processor or blender with a little olive oil and freeze it in tablespoon portions to add to soup, marinara, etc.

                1. hotoynoodle Feb 4, 2012 11:03 AM

                  whizz it in the food pro with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. will last for months in the freezer. i portion it out into small bags.

                  1. c
                    CanadaGirl Feb 4, 2012 10:35 AM

                    If you freeze it it'll turn black. I like it torn into a simple green salad. Or make a salad of grape tomatoes, basil and bocconcini (sp?). Make a pizza with tomato and mozzarella then sprinkle basil on top.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: CanadaGirl
                      Njchicaa Feb 4, 2012 11:07 AM

                      I've frozen loads of fresh basil over the years and never had it turn black. It isn't quite so pretty when you thaw it, but it still tastes great in marinara sauce, pizza sauce, etc.

                      1. re: Njchicaa
                        bigfred May 8, 2012 04:50 PM

                        I find freezing an ice cream scoop full of shredded basil with a tablespoon of water. Freeze fast and then put into ziplocks

                    2. c
                      chez cherie Feb 4, 2012 10:25 AM

                      basil mayo is wonderful for sandwiches, in potato salad, on green beans, etc. 1 cup packed basil leaves in food processor, add a cup of mayo, whirl. add some garlic and lemon juice, whirl. salt and white pepper---more than you think. yum! lasts about 5 days in fridge.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: chez cherie
                        HandPay Feb 4, 2012 10:34 AM

                        Mmmm, that sounds tasty. Maybe it will give me an excuse to use the Magic Bullet someone bought me a couple of years ago but have never used! Thanks for the idea.

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