Preserving basil?

Discussion in 'Herbs' started by bbq bubba, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My basil went nuts this year and i have a bunch to pick this weekend...
    Any ideas how to preserve whole leaves for future use, i have some summer recipes that i would like to try this winter that requires whole leaves and i'm not wanting dried basil...........[​IMG]
  2. flattop

    flattop Smoke Blower

    If you have one then pack up a couple of bunches and use your food saver. I just vacuum packed some this past weekend. It works out great and takes all the air outta the package. It only takes about 5 min to do several bags.
  3. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Do you freeze them or just store in the pantry? Stay pretty fresh that way?
  4. navionjim

    navionjim Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Make a butt load of Pesto
  5. shellbellc

    shellbellc Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have an italian aunt who chops it put it in ice cube trays, fills with water, when she make a fresh sauce or anything needing basil she just pops out a cube or two. Actually after frozen she put them into bag so they aren't sitting in the open.
  6. jts70

    jts70 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    V pack and freeze, works really well.
  7. smokin for life

    smokin for life Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I thought I was told once that you can't freeze basil, most other herbs was ok, but not basil. I could be wrong I just thought I heard that some where. But if some one has done it and it didn't turn dark, then maybe I'm wrong.
  8. goat

    goat Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I vac packed some dill and froze it last summer. It sure made some good pickles this spring.
  9. jts70

    jts70 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

  10. navionjim

    navionjim Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    That's a great Idea! Bet you could do that with alot of different fresh herbs.
  11. navionjim

    navionjim Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Haven't done it yet, but I do know that freezing things in fluid is different from freezing them by themselves. I used to add glycerin to beer yeast slurry (Trub) and freeze it for use latter. I was able to keep some rare cultures viable for over a year that way
  12. squeezy

    squeezy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Made into pesto using olive oil, it retains the fresh flavor well, so I think if you place whole leaves in EVOO, they would freeze well.
    Worth a try!
  13. webfoot

    webfoot Smoke Blower

    To add/combine a couple comments. Wife makes pesto from our basil and has always put the mix in ice cube trays and freeze. After frozen take them out of the trays and place them in freezer bags and back into the freezer until needed.
  14. smokyokie

    smokyokie Smoking Fanatic

    Hey Bubba,
    I freeze 2 or three lbs of basil every year. Wash it ,dry it in a salad spinner, get rid of the stemmy stuff as much as possible, vacpac it and just shred off as much as you want whenever you need it. I also dry some for those uses that call for dried herbs (rubs and such). Just use a dehydrator on low temp with a high fan speed. When it's dry, coarse grind it in the food processor.
  15. dacdots

    dacdots Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    We just pulled ours up,had three nice plants.I hang it upside down in a paper bag with holes punched in it for air circulation.I found this method in my gardening book and has always worked well.
  16. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank's guy's!!
  17. smokyokie

    smokyokie Smoking Fanatic

    Don't forget to save the seeds for next year. I haven't bough seed for years now. I've also had some interesting crosspollenation yeilds such as lettuce leaf Thai basil.
  18. shellbellc

    shellbellc Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Where the heck are the seeds on basil? I have some nice lemon basil I might try saving seeds.
  19. CRAP - where was this thread before we got our first frost? [​IMG] Oh well live and learn right.

    I've got sage that withstood the mild frost. I'm going to try that stuff with the sage as well. [​IMG]
  20. smokyokie

    smokyokie Smoking Fanatic

    The seeds are still good after frost if you care to harvest them.

    If you allow the plant to mature it will bolt out a seed head. If you wait until the seed head turns brown the seeds will be mature. They don't usually all mature @ once so you can make several harvests per season.

    Once the heads are brown the seeds will begin to drop, so you don't want to wait too long to harvest the brown ones.

    Set them aside somewhere out of the way and let them dry out well. Once dry just rub a wad of them at a time between your palms and the seeds (along with a litle plant matter) will fall out. They are then easily cleaned using a sheet pan and a playing card or something similar.

    Place your goods on one end of the sheet pan. Elevate that end of the pan and while holding it elevated scoop and drop your seed pile repeatedly with the playing card. The seeds will roll to the lower end of the pand while the other stuff stays at the top end.

    And no, I'm not going to admit to how I learned this seed removal technique.[​IMG][​IMG]

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