If you planted basil edible edges or propagated your basil from cuttings like I did this year, no doubt you have a boatload of basil to contend with. Having a ton of one specific crop can be overwhelming, but basil is such a versatile herb that can be integrated into so many different recipes that you will be grateful to have a lot of it once you learn what to do with it all. Here are some of my favorite recipes that go beyond the norm and help that basil last throughout the year.
Usually the first thing people think of to make with fresh basil is pesto. Make a big batch without the cheese and store in the freezer in small jars. When you want to eat the pesto, thaw just enough to use add the cheese in, and it’s like you have garden-fresh pesto all winter long.
- For a basic traditional pesto, I like Jamie Oliver’s Pesto Recipe.
- Basil-Almond Pesto is also a nice change from the original.
- Given the price of pine nuts these days, I make Basil-Walnut Pesto my regular go-to recipe because it has a rich nutty flavor without breaking the bank.
Besides making up big batches of pesto to freeze, there are a few other ways to preserve basil for the winter months.
- Dry clean, trimmed basil by layering onto the shelves of a food dehydrator. Leave lots of space between leaves and check often to ensure they don’t over dry. Store dried herbs in a sealed jar for up to a year.
- Freeze chopped basil mixed with water in ice cube trays. Transfer frozen cubes to a freezer bag to store. Thaw a cube when needed for a recipe. I like this because an ice cube makes it easy to thaw a small amount of…