Preserving basil


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I'd love to preserve some of my basil in a way that would keep its pungency. I don't have very much to experiment with so tell me please, would you dry it or freeze it? I've made pesto with it successfully in the past, but of course it doesn't keep very long.
 
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I freeze mine in water in an ice cube tray. works great
 
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A popular way to preserve herbs is by chopping them up and putting them in ice cube trays. This way you can pop out a cube and use it in your cooking. Some people flash freeze them but I've never personally gotten it down just right for that haha.
 
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Many thanks to you both. I shall try that. I have a spare ice cube tray and i guess when they're frozen I can pop the cubes out and store them in a bag. I generally use ziplock bags as they're so easy to extract small quantities from.
 
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I have made pesto, and frozen in all in a shallow longer flat container, so that I can break off hunks as I needed it for pasta.
I do the ice cube thing also with basil, puree up the basil in a little water, then put it in ice cube trays, then break out in to baggies, easy in the winter to toss into soups, stews, and sauces.
 
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I was going to say the same tip about the ice cube trays - we had a massive haul of basil this year and I also made pesto (we love pesto pasta in this household!) and froze a bunch in water too.

Not sure if you've thought about this either, but with a lot of our herbs we like to make infused olive oils. Basil infused olive oil is delicious in a range of Italian dishes so maybe that could be something to think about too!
 
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Thanks Amelia88 - this group is brilliant for lateral thinking! I have made infused oils in the past but had forgotten about them. Thanks for reminding me! Could be nice to add to 'foodie' Christmas presents too.
 
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A few people mentioned the ice cube trays above. I have had a good experience with this. The basil keeps nicely when it is frozen in water or even put into olive oil. There really isn't a need to chop it either, unless that's how you'd prefer it.
 
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for the ice cube trays, it seems easier to fill them, if the basil and a little water is slightly pureed in a blender then poured into the trays. In the long run, frozen basil can only be used for soups, stews or sauces, so it will wilt out in the freezer anyway, with our without chopping it.
 
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Great tips Esther. I haven't had much success with growing basil and I do love basil. I'll try again and hope to have enough to do as you suggest with the pesto and the cubes.

I have made pesto, and frozen in all in a shallow longer flat container, so that I can break off hunks as I needed it for pasta.
I do the ice cube thing also with basil, puree up the basil in a little water, then put it in ice cube trays, then break out in to baggies, easy in the winter to toss into soups, stews, and sauces.[/QUOT
 
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I personally dehydrate mine and keep it in an airtight jar with a silica gel packet. I save the packets from other foods and use them for things like herbs and yeast that I keep in larger containers.
 
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have to take a picture of this noted in the food store a container of pesto. on it it reads Pesto with Basil. Does not all Pesto have basil in it, or am I missing something???
 
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I freeze my pesto. I make a big batch and put it in glass jars to freeze, and it lasts quite a while. You can dry out your basil by baking it on a very low heat or leaving it out in the open for a few days. Then you can crumble the leaves up for dried basil.

I’ve also froze the whole leaves in the past. This doesn’t work so well because they break up. However I did put it in my soup and was fine. However, I wouldn’t recommend freezing it, I think drying it out in the oven (200* F) is the best way to go!
 
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I dried my basil and crumbled them up to keep in a jar! I use dried basil a lot for marinating my meat, poultry and fish! I just love the smell of basil.
 
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Also if you are thinking preserving it just a few weeks. Get a plastic container and store the basil (parsley or whatever) between paper towels.
 

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