Monday, September 3, 2012

How to Freeze Basil

I didn't bother growing basil in my garden this year, because we always receive such large quantities from our CSA. I froze the last batch that we received to use later in the fall and winter when I make a lot of soups and casseroles.

It is fairly easy process, but you can't just put the basil leaves in the freezer like I do when I freeze other herbs. The basil leaves will turn black in the freezer. Instead I made a basil puree and froze in 1 tablespoon portions.

How to Freeze Basil

1. Remove the long stems from the basil, leaving just the leaves. Rinse the basil and dry using a salad spinner or squeeze out the excess water with a clean towel.

2. Place the basil leaves in a food processor and start pureeing the leaves. Slowly drizzle extra virgin olive oil into the food processor while it is running. Use approximately 2-3 tablespoons of the evoo for every 2 cups of packed basil leaves.

3. Spoon the pureed basil into an ice cube tray, about 1 tablespoon per cube. Place int the freezer.

4. Once frozen, move the basil cubes into a freezer bag. Label the bag. Use the fresh basil into soups, stews and casseroles.

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How do you preserve fresh basil? Let us know in the comments.

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  1. I dry mine, but someone told me you can just put leaves in an ice cube tray with water and freeze them, and they will work fine. I haven't tried it; I know they turn black in the garden the second the freeze hits them. I've always thought I should, though!

  2. I've frozen basil leaves in water in ice-cube trays before and it worked well. Was thinking about doing this again next weekend. Now I think I might try and do a batch of both options. I suppose that depending on what you want to add it do both could have possibilities.


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