Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What do you do with Basil at the end of the growing season?

I grow a lot of basil. In theory if you tuck it in with your delectable plant, it confuses pests. I have found this not to be true but I do it anyway. I just have basil growing everywhere.
Unfortunately, it is tender so when it gets cold, it dies. There's nothing like fresh basil. I keep a couple pots indoor through the winter though my success with that is still iffy. What I have done and found very worthwhile is freezing basil in ice cubes.

This series of photos shows the process, 1st, some cinnamon basil insitu. Cinnamon basil is not my favorite. I get annoyed by it because it resembles Thai Basil, and tastes similar, but not quite as good to me. I think it grows better in my climate too.

So here we have my ice cube tray, a fancy one I got at
Bed Bath & Beyond. Browsing their site, I do not see what I got. These cubes are slightly larger than most and make a very square cube. It's also that nice squishy silicone so it's easy to get the cubes out.

You'll notice that I just jammed as much basil as I could in each cube. I'm not tidy by nature and here it doesn't matter.
Once they are frozen, you just pop them out and put them in a plastic bag or something. If you are like me and have several varieties, you might wanna label the bag.

Hmm, below, there is some lemon basil, one of my favorites, tucked in with some random plants, like thyme and butterfly bush. This one I let got to seed. I don't just use the leaves, I throw in the flower buds and flowers themselves. The only part of the basil I don't use are the roots and the stem.

So the ice cube let's you use a measured amount of basil, for these cubes I think I managed to stuff about 2 teaspoon per cube, but I didn't measure. When I use the cubes, I generally add it to whatever I am cooking right at the very end. I just let it thaw out and get warm. Otherwise, it's almost the same as using dry.

You may do this with whatever other herbs suit your fancy. It's very nice with tarragon. Some folks make a mix, say something that would be perfect for seasoning chicken soup.

Anyway good luck!

1 comment:

frazzledsugarplummum said...

mmmm with tarragon you say. Will try that. Interesting post. Wish I had a bigger freezer.