How to Save Basil
Saving Fresh Basil
Every year we grow basil in the garden. It's pretty easy to grow but by the end of summer we have tons of lovely basil that we know won't make it through the first frost. So a few years ago I set out on a way to harvest and freeze our loads and loads of fresh basil to have all winter.
First step: harvest the basil.
I usually go out to the garden (or have the kids do it) and pick the branches right off the plants. Then we bring them all in and put the good leaves in a big bowl.
Second step: wash the basil.
I mean, it was just outside.
Third step: shred it up
Put as much basil as you can into the food processor with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Pulse until shredded, adding olive oil as needed, and knocking it off the sides so you get it finely chopped. You may find that you are able to add more basil and continue to shred it.
Fourth step: freeze it
I spoon it into ice cube trays about half full each. I add a little olive oil so it freezes in a nice cube. I also purchase ice cube trays with lids so it doesn't make a big mess in the freezer. I got them online, of course.
Fifth step: bag it up
Once it is frozen, I run the bottom of the tray under hot water for just a second then twist and bang the cubes out of the tray into a freezer bag. Voila! Now you have basil cubes to use in your cooking recipes all winter long!