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So Much Basil, So Little Time

al b. darned Sep 15, 2012 07:53 PM

I was gifted with an uprooted basil plant. This is what it looked like when it was all plucked. I filled up all seven trays of my dehydrator with some, and used some for our evening repast, but we still have about half of it left. Tho it can be frozen I understand it doesn't fare well on the return trip. Other than pesto, which I plan to make, what can I do to preserve it?

  1. b
    becks1 Sep 16, 2012 07:00 AM

    Frozen herb puree

    2 1/2 cups of olive oil
    3 garlic cloves
    15 leaves of basil

    Place the garlic cloves and basil in a blender. Add the olive oil to the blender until the ingredients are covered, and purée on high till smooth. Pour in ice cube tray and freeze.

    Just throw a cube into whatever you are making

    5 Replies
    1. re: becks1
      al b. darned Sep 16, 2012 12:55 PM

      That seems like a lot of oil for for the amount of basil. Was that a typo?

      1. re: al b. darned
        Mother of four Sep 16, 2012 02:04 PM

        Sounds more like Basil flavored EVO!

        1. re: al b. darned
          becks1 Sep 16, 2012 06:16 PM

          no typo. just add till it covers basil. My first batch i ran out of evo short of the top of basil bit was just a little more potent.

        2. re: becks1
          mannnish Sep 17, 2012 12:30 PM

          I did similar except less oil - no garlic and just froze one huge 'block' . I cut off a piece toss it wherever it needs to go worked great for me

          1. re: mannnish
            Mother of four Sep 17, 2012 01:19 PM

            I put the basil with a little bit of EVO into the FP,when mixed I put it into freezer bag and push it flat. That way it takes up very little space in the freezer and I can just break off as much as I need.

        3. l
          lcool Sep 16, 2012 08:00 AM

          short cut ,frozen,for later use

          Pack the leaves,flat layers in olive oil,into a container that works for you and your freezer space.
          I do mean pack,firmly.Try to minimize the oil used as you are filling,pushing the layers in.Doing your best to avoid suspension and or the float and still all coated.Leave a gap at the top,chill.When the top is nicely congealed,maybe push a bit more and cover with a nice layer of olive oil and freeze.Will work just fine scooped out to finish sauces,beans etc.Discolouration, beyond the oil coating really isn't much.
          You can also salt pack and shelf.Not worth the labor now that most of us have microwaves for drying and freezers for the remainder.
          Pesto freezes well,flavour wise.It won't be so bright green when it thaws.I just add ? parsley.

          3 Replies
          1. re: lcool
            al b. darned Sep 16, 2012 01:00 PM

            Never heard of this packing in oil method. I'll give it a try, Thanks. Would tossing the leaves in oil before packing give them enough coating for the packing phase?

            1. re: al b. darned
              lcool Sep 16, 2012 02:11 PM

              I don't toss in oil.Too much ? bruising,I think.Even older tougher leaves off older large plants discolour,fast.I stack,oil,wiggle with a chop stick few layers at a time and push down periodically.With a bit of practice you'll get pretty fast at it.
              You only need to coat 90% or so.

              PS this also works with tarragon and almond oil

              1. re: lcool
                al b. darned Sep 16, 2012 02:12 PM

                Thanks for the update.

          2. k
            KSlink Sep 16, 2012 01:09 PM

            It's my understanding that blanched and dried basil leaves will retain their color after defrosting instead of turning black...

            1 Reply
            1. re: KSlink
              lcool Sep 16, 2012 02:12 PM

              Yes,that is correct.
              More work even than the salt method.They come out of the 10 second blanche and need to be dried in SINGLE layers prior to storage.A real pain to separate quickly.Quite a bit of space required and a bit daunting with only two hands,considering all of the time lags between blanche dips.

            2. m
              malabargold Sep 16, 2012 02:15 PM

              Freezing works perfectly. No oil, no water. Leaves blotted dry and frozen.
              You were given bad information.

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