Friday, February 24, 2012

Storing My Abundant Basil

At the end of the summer last year, I started an herb garden in my kitchen window. One of the herbs I planted was basil. I love basil. I love the way it smells, the way it tastes the way it looks. I DON'T like that it grows like a weed though! I was amazed at how quickly and abundantly it grew! It took over my window sill and made it difficult for the other plants to grow since it blocked the sunlight. I wanted to "harvest" my basil so I began to research how.

I knew I wanted to dry it out so I started by cutting off several "branches" and hung them upside down to dry. This didn't work at all. I didn't realize how "moist" or how much natural oil is in the basil leaves. This made it very difficult for them to really dry out before going bad. The more research I did, the more I found out that it's actually a more difficult plant to dry out. You can dry it out in the oven, but the heat tends to change the flavor. Putting it in front of the dehumidifier works the best, according to what I read, but I don't have one and I wasn't about to go out and purchase one. I found a website though that suggested freezing it and so I decided to give this method a whirl. I'm glad I did.

I clipped all the good leaves off the plant and then made sure I cut off all the stems from the leaves. I put them all in the blender and poured a little bit of olive oil on top. Then, in the blender, I chopped it all up. After that was completed, I put the basil/oil mix into ice cubes and then into a freezer Ziploc bag and froze it.

It worked like a charm. All the leaves are still a beautiful dark green, even frozen, they still smell great and the other night, I used some in a recipe and it still had all it's flavor. I will continue to store my basil like this.




Love it! Def gonna give this a try with my herbs.

Post a Comment