Questions about Basil...

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Ravenlost, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    :help:

    I just brought about a bushel basket of basil in from the garden. Now what?

    I read that you could make basil paste (pesto without the garlic, etc.) to freeze and am thinking I would rather do that than dry it. Anyone ever do this before?

    Also, I am wondering if I harvested some of it to late. It's been trying to flower, but I kept pinching the flowers off before they opened. When I cut the basil (leaving some leaves at the bottom in hopes it will put out again) I discovered some of the plants had gotten pretty woody. Did I wait to long to harvest?

    I have two different kinds of Basil and don't remember what they are. Will it hurt to mix them up when I freeze it?

    I do have to admit that the house smells wonderful with all this basil in the kitchen, as do I after being up to my elbows in it.
     
  2. Loriann1971

    Loriann1971 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I throw the basil in my food processor with a few cloves of garlic and process it briefly..then I put it in ice cube trays and freeze it and then pop them out and place them in zip lock bags...when I need a little oommph in a soup or stew, I pop a basil cube in...I have also done the same thing adding pine nuts into the mixture.
     

  3. Dixielee

    Dixielee Well-Known Member

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    What a great idea. We, too, have a nice crop of basil this year. I made the best spaghetti I have ever had yesterday with a good handful of fresh basil in it. I wonder how well it does as an indoor windowsill plant to have the fresh stuff all year. Need to try it.
     
  4. JAS

    JAS Well-Known Member

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    You can freeze it plain with some oil, make pesto and freeze, or dry it but do not use a temperature over 90-100 degrees for the best results (I will turn my dryer on for a bit then turn it off repeatedly throughout the day).
     
  5. BillyGoat

    BillyGoat Well-Known Member

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    I read that you mix a smal amount of olive oil with it than freeze it.

    I haven't done this, because we don't have a (storage) freezer.

    I am drying mine, just buy it laying on a towel in the house, then crumble it in the pestal and morter.
     
  6. JAS

    JAS Well-Known Member

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    If you dry it, leave it whole till you use it then crush it. The flavor keeps better if left whole.
     
  7. susieM

    susieM Well-Known Member

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    Dry it in the microwave, between paper towels...it won't turn dark.
     
  8. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    Not that I have to very often, because basil grows all year round for me, but if I freeze it, I just toss it into a plastic container as is - some leaves, some sprigs. Some people find that their basil turns black when frozen, but I've never had this problem. If you do, blanch the leaves before freezing. When basil is grown up it can turn quite woody, like many shrubs. Just keep chopping off its head, and new leaf growth will start up - until the plant is ready to die.

    Hint: if you follow other people's advice and mince your basil before freezing, put it into a plastic bag and squash it flat into a pancake, and freeze in layers with plastic in between. That way, you can break off chunks instead of having to get out a chisel and hammer from a large rock!
     
  9. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks everyone! I did read somewhere that you shouldn't put the garlic in when freezing basil paste as it can give the basil a bitter taste upon thawing. I think I'll try just freezing the leaves as there's way to much and I have so many other things to do...family coming for the weekend so must clean house!