Basil Basil and more basil

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by gwithrow, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. gwithrow

    gwithrow Well-Known Member

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    I need ideas of how to preserve 5 big bags stuffed with basil, my friend has gifted me with her leftovers..My kitchen smells great but Ineed to do something with all this so we can enjoy all winter...dry? freeze? should I wash the leaves before trying to do anything? it looks pretty clean and smells wonderful. thanks gw
     
  2. Snakeoil

    Snakeoil Well-Known Member

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    Let them air dry and then crumble.
     

  3. Melissa

    Melissa member

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    I make my version of pesto. Put the basil, some garlic and enough olive oil to make it a bit wet in a food processor and chop it up. Freeze in 1/4 cup portions and use for pasta, pizza crust or bread. I can never get enough pesto made to last until the next year.
     
  4. JAS

    JAS Well-Known Member

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    You can freeze it but from what I read it needs to be in an oil base--olive oil like in pesto (great stuff).

    Air drying is best but I do use my dehydrator when have a lot. Remove the leaves and turn the dehydrator on for a little while, just until hot and then turn it off and let set. I will do that through out the day, until the leave are crumbly. It is best not to dry the leaves at a temperature over 90 degrees. If you can store the leave whole, they retain their flavor better than if crumbled.

    I rinse mine before processing. Make sure you make a batch of pesto while you have some fresh stuff and enjoy.
     
  5. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    I've successfully frozen it just by putting it into a plastic container. I've heard that some people find that basil turns black when frozen. I've never had this problem, but if you're worried, blanch it before freezing. The colour does not affect the flavour - only the appearance.

    I don't like to dry basil, though it is easily dried. I find that it loses much of its flavour and colour when dried.
     
  6. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    here is the way i have been freezing mine for years

    take all the leaves off the steam lay a bunch out on foil paper them roll it up make many of them when you want fresh basil open it up cut off what you need put it back in the freezer
     
  7. Melissa

    Melissa member

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    Around here we plant garlic about 4-6 weeks before the first hard frost. Harvest around the first of August, I plant any kind, it all tastes pretty good.
     
  8. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    My favorite way of preserving the fresh taste is also by freezing but with a different method. Using a blender, add enough water to whip it into a liquid slurry. Then pour that into ice cube trays. When frozen, remove the basil cubes and place in a Zip-Loc bag. Then you can make spaghetti sauce all winter with a "fresh" basil taste.

    Garlic is planted from mid to late September in Zones 4 and 5. Add about 15 days per zone after that. For Zones 4-7, hardneck varieties are best. For warmer zones, softnecks have the advantage.

    Martin