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Thread: I'm drowning in Basil

  1. #1
    Super Member Kooklabell's Avatar
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    Besides making and freezing pesto sauce, how do you store, save your basil? Do you dry it? How? Do you freeze it? How?

    I have sooooo much, I don't want to throw it away :cry:

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bonnie's Avatar
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    Mine is just starting and I will be watching how to keep it.

  3. #3
    Super Member redquilter's Avatar
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    I've tried drying it but don't care for the flavor. I freeze it - wash,, dry and put into plastic bags or containers. A hint about your pesto - freeze some in ice cube trays then pop into plastic bags or containers. Wonderful for tossing into spaghetti sauce or as a topping for fish or chicken, etc. Of course, you can always send some to me. No matter how much I grow, it's never enough!

  4. #4
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    I simply wash them, chop it up, removing the larger stems, then fill plastic ice cube trays with the basil and water..let freeze then pop into a ziploc bag labeled basil...then if you need FRESH basil in JAN. you have it! Simply thaw it out in a screen strainer and fresh basil!
    Great to toss into the soup pot as well!

  5. #5
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    I dry mine in a dehydrator.

  6. #6
    Super Member Kooklabell's Avatar
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    Thank you Jacquie. I've heard about this freezing method, but you've explained it much better :)

  7. #7
    Super Member Kooklabell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leatheflea
    I dry mine in a dehydrator.
    I've thought about buying a dehydrator. How do you like it? What else do you use it for?

  8. #8
    Senior Member MissSandra's Avatar
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    i dry them, and put them in a plastic bag roll it tight and crush as i want to use it, crushing before takes oil away from the flavor. i tried drying in a dehydrator, and they blew around lol, so i leave them on the stem and in a vase to dry out oh what an arrangement they make lol

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by leatheflea
    I dry mine in a dehydrator.
    oh please don't...basil is too fragile...meaning all of the flavor oils are sucked out into no flavor land in the dehydrator...freeze them instead...so much nicer!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissSandra
    i dry them, and put them in a plastic bag roll it tight and crush as i want to use it, crushing before takes oil away from the flavor. i tried drying in a dehydrator, and they blew around lol, so i leave them on the stem and in a vase to dry out oh what an arrangement they make lol
    did you know you should hang them upside down? just like for drying flowers...herbs should be hung downward to preserve the most oils!

  11. #11
    Member lostsoulhelpmejebus's Avatar
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    I layer multiple leaves and then roll into a "cigar" (about the thickness of my index finger and about the same length). I then place all my "cigars" on a flat cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and allow the "cigars" to freeze. Once frozen I throw them in a double freezer bag and then remove them as needed for use. I think it allows the oils to stay more stable for a longer period of time. :-)

  12. #12
    Super Member Juliebelle's Avatar
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    I freeze mine, wash really well, pull leaves from stems, lay on clean towel and roll up lightly to remove excess water then place in freezer bags press flat and line up in freezer. Nothing better then to be able to pull it out in the middle of winter. I just pull out amount I need and crumble in my hand and add to dish.

  13. #13
    Super Member ssgramma's Avatar
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    Besides a lot of [esto I make a lot of Pistachio Basil Butter. Great on grilled salmon or chicken breasts.

    1 stick butter softened
    1 clove garlic
    1 t lime juice
    1/4 c pistachios
    10 large basil leaves

    Pulse in food processor

    I make it with a pound of butter (enough for all year!), roll into a couple of logs in parchment paper, chill til firm then slice. I wrap 2 slices in a bit of foil and toss into a baggie then freeze. Just set out for a few then put on top of salmon or chicken when removed from the grill.

  14. #14
    Super Member ssgramma's Avatar
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    Oh - forgot to add that I also make vinegar with purple basil and garlic. I dilute the vinegar with a bit of water and some rice vinegar til the acidity is where I want it then toss in a bunch of purple basil and a couple garlic cloves. It makes pretty pink vinegar!

    My neighbors are all hooked on it :-)

    Make salad dressing with the vinegar a bit of dijon and some EVOO - YUM

  15. #15
    Super Member OmaForFour's Avatar
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    Take the leaves off the stems. Lay single layer on cookie sheet. Set oven to 170. Keep in oven for 30 minutes. If not dry, try another 15 minutes at a time. This is quick drying and retains the color. I do it all the time.

    I also use this method for all the herbs I grow except chives. I just finished a big batch of tarragon.

  16. #16
    Senior Member calicocat's Avatar
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    I wash and pat dry. Then I put them in a ziplock adding to it as I go. Works Great.

    Pesto on toast is yummy for breakfast or as a side at dinner

  17. #17
    Super Member Roberta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leatheflea
    I dry mine in a dehydrator.
    I do as well and it keeps for a very long time and doesn't take up much room.

  18. #18
    Junior Member Paula Fullager's Avatar
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    I put them in a freezer bag and dribble olive oil in the bag and make sure they are all covered and then freeze. Just break off what you need when you are ready to use it. The olive oil keeps them soft.

  19. #19
    Senior Member flikkem's Avatar
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    I spread leaves on paper towel on a plate and then dry it in the microwave. I check it every minute to see it it is dry enough. I stored it in a glass jar after that. I think it took 3 to 5 minutes to dry - will depend on your microwave.

  20. #20
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    Can I have your pesto receipe so I can try this?

  21. #21
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    I am covered in basil as well. Can all you great cooks share your favorite ways to use it. The stuff keeps appearing everywhere, even a beautiful plant in our compost pile ..............way down the field.

  22. #22
    Junior Member Kieta's Avatar
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    We have tomato basil soup every few weeks. really keeps my basil plant trimmed back.

    Ingredients

    5 to 6 tomatoes - peeled and diced ( i boil tomatoes for a min & the skin slips off easily)
    6 cups tomato juice (1 large can)
    18 to 20 leaves fresh basil
    1 tablespoon chopped/minced garlic
    1 cup whole milk or cream
    1/4 cup butter
    salt and pepper to taste

    Directions

    Place tomatoes, juice and garlic in a stock pot over medium heat. Simmer for 30 minutes. Puree the tomato mixture along with the basil leaves, and return the puree to the stock pot.
    Place the pot over medium heat, and stir in the milk and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Do not boil.

    i sprinkle a bit of cheese on the top. my picky kids & hubby love this soup.

  23. #23
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    I wish I was drowning in it. :)

  24. #24
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wisconsin
    I wish I was drowning in it. :)
    me too, don't have any this year.

    You can chop it in a food processor and add olive oil. Freeze in jars, it doesn't freeze solid because of the oil, you can take the jar out of the freezer, spoon out what you need, put back in the freezer.

  25. #25
    Power Poster blueangel's Avatar
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    I freeze mine

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