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 best way to harvest and store fresh basil leaves....help
ERNURSE  [Member]
6/30/2009 10:26:18 PM
Ive got some great sweet Basil this year, wondering how to store them, pick the leaves and put in a paper bag or hang whole plant up to dry??????any help appreciated.
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ColonelHurtz  [Team Member]
6/30/2009 11:24:52 PM
I use a dehydrator.

Pluck any seed pods off of the tips and hang the whole branch up to dry.
When it's dry, crumble the leaf off of it. Try not to get too much stem.

The stems and twigs work great in a smoker or as a bed for broiling food.
ERNURSE  [Member]
6/30/2009 11:48:38 PM
thanks
smiper  [Member]
7/1/2009 12:13:36 AM
You could also make pesto out of it and keep it in the freezer- try Google for common recipes. Maybe someone can chime in here on how well it would can?
JIP  [Team Member]
7/1/2009 1:26:42 AM
The best place to store fresh basil leaves is in your stomach!!. Barring that and if you ant to have some semblance of the flavor all year round I sort of agree to the last poster. Pesto is one way to freeze it or you could just try chopping up some leaves and outting them into an ice cube tray with some water. If you want to use them for something like soup all you have to do is add the cubes and all to the pot and the water will just melt away. I have never personally done this because I usually eat my basil waaay too fast to ever have so much left to save.
Feral  [Moderator]
7/1/2009 6:43:21 AM
Originally Posted By smiper:
You could also make pesto out of it and keep it in the freezer- try Google for common recipes. Maybe someone can chime in here on how well it would can?


We do the "pesto" storage method when we have enough to make it worthwhile. It's not really pesto though as we omit the pine nuts and cheese. Really it's just basil that's been run through the food processor with a little olive oil. Load the resulting stuff into ice cube trays then drizzle some oil on the top. Once frozen you can pop the "basil cubes" out and place in a ziplock bag. Keeps nicely through the winter.

Basil cans poorly as it tends to darken and turn bitter. Even if that weren't the case you wouldn't be able to can pesto as there's too much oil in it.
ThePontificator  [Member]
7/1/2009 11:59:27 AM
Puree the leaves with olive oil and pour this mixture into ice cube trays. I fill each indent about a third of the way. Freeze, then put the frozen "chips" in a freezer bag and just keep them in the freezer. This way, when you need some for, say, a batch of spaghetti sauce, you have the right amount immediately handly.

Mike_314  [Member]
7/1/2009 12:14:39 PM
I puree the leaves with olive oil like others suggested, but I just pour the mix into a zip lock bag,
flatten it out to about a quarter inch, and make sure to get all the air out.

The bag lays flat in the freezer, takes up little space, and its easy to break off the quantity you want.
Kitties-with-Sigs  [Team Member]
7/2/2009 12:11:48 AM
tag

for when my basil comes in.

JIP  [Team Member]
7/4/2009 2:16:14 AM
Originally Posted By Mike_314:
I puree the leaves with olive oil like others suggested, but I just pour the mix into a zip lock bag,
flatten it out to about a quarter inch, and make sure to get all the air out.

The bag lays flat in the freezer, takes up little space, and its easy to break off the quantity you want.


The reason for the ice cube trays is to not have to "break off some" when you need to use it. If you use Ice cube trays you can portion it out so you know what you are getting with each cube. When they are frozen then you can put them in a bag to save some space.

douglasmorris99  [Team Member]
7/4/2009 7:49:10 AM
you can also tie them into bundles, about 1" diameter MAX and hang them from the rafters in the garage, your attic, on you back porch and allow them to try,
then simply crush them into a bowl, check for bugs, (shouldnt be any, bugs dont care much for herbs) and store in plastic baggies or glass jars,,

same with oregano, basil, thyme, fennel, rosehips,


makes your garage or attic smell hmmm good too

chef
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