So Much Basil, So Little Time
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?
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.
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.
re: al b. darned
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
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