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What can I do with all ths basil?
October 28, 2011 2:39 AM   Subscribe

A LOT of fresh basil - now what?

Received a lot of fresh basil. Want to keep it for a long time - what should I do with it. Previous experience showed me it goes black fast. Help with your magical solutions. Thank you/
posted by watercarrier to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
PESTO!
posted by tumid dahlia at 2:50 AM on October 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


Make pesto (but stop before you add the cheese) and freeze it in meal-size portions. Add the cheese after thawing and before serving.
posted by Logophiliac at 2:50 AM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also.
posted by tumid dahlia at 2:51 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pesto is the best solution- you need a lot of basil for pesto. There are many recipes, but the basic ingredients are lots of basil, olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic, and pine nuts or walnuts. Mix these until a little chunky with food processor, blender, or knife and mortar and pestle. Pesto freezes very well. Freeze in portions and use later on pasta, chicken, bread, etc.
posted by mondotwistedmojo at 2:52 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I put the leaves in a small tupperware box in the freezer. Keeps for ages.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:56 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pesto freezes well too, of course.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:56 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Basil bounty suggestions and What do I do with all this damn basil? will help you deal with your windfall.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:00 AM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Make basil syrup! Freeze it as ice-cubes and use it to make lemonade or delicious, delicious gimlets.
posted by Yo Soy La Morsa at 3:05 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Act now. Pesto freezes well! Go mate!
posted by evil_esto at 3:13 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you very much! I will try the blanching then freezing. The drying seems a bit iffy. Much obliged :))
posted by watercarrier at 3:20 AM on October 28, 2011


It won't use up a lot of them, but fried basil leaves are adorable and nummy!
posted by xingcat at 4:05 AM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wash, Dry in a salad spinner, Wrap in paper towel and Freeze!
posted by Yellow at 4:23 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, you can just grind it up with a bit of oil, freeze it in an ice cube tray, and take out cubes whenever you need some fresh basil. Works well!
posted by hooper4 at 4:54 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I find that if you wrap herbs in a very slightly damp paper towel and stick 'em in a ziplock, they'll keep for two or three weeks. The ziplock protects them from the dry air of the fridge and the paper towel regulates the moisture so that they don't rot.
posted by Diablevert at 6:26 AM on October 28, 2011


we had a bumper crop of basil this year. We always make lots of cheeseless pesto to freeze, and I made a little basil jelly, too.

Another idea: Put leaves in a stockpot; add water just till you can see it thorugh the top layer of leaves. Add twice the volume of sugar as you have water. Bring to a boil; simmer for five to ten minutes; shut off the heat and let it steep for half an hour. Strain, bring back to a boil, and seal in clean jars. It will stay stable for a long long time. You now have basil syrup—fantastic stirred into seltzer (with limoncello or without), brushed over cakes, drizzled over desserts, used to glaze meat, etc. etc.
posted by peachfuzz at 8:06 AM on October 28, 2011


Freezing the pesto portions in ice cube trays makes for a convenient size (once frozen, you can transfer the pesto cubes to a big ziplock freezer baggie). Be sure to put non-stick spray on the icecube tray before freezing the pesto. We also usually leave the parmesan cheese out of the pesto that's getting frozen and just later add fresh-grated parmesan to taste when we use it in a recipe.
posted by aught at 10:16 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can I ask why you omit the cheese before freezing pesto? I made and froze literally quarts of the stuff this year with cheese, hope I didn't somehow ruin it.
posted by TungstenChef at 11:54 AM on October 28, 2011


Can I ask why you omit the cheese before freezing pesto? I made and froze literally quarts of the stuff this year with cheese, hope I didn't somehow ruin it.

No, personal preference really. I like the taste better with the fresh parmesan added at the time of cooking, but I am willing to admit that might be totally subjective. I've done it both ways and enjoyed it - I don't think you ruined your batch.
posted by aught at 2:18 PM on October 28, 2011


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