Friday, July 26, 2013

Basil, Basil - Everywhere!

Every year, we end up with an over abundance of fresh basil! Sure, I do all of the obvious things:  Make pesto, basil butter, margherita pizzas, insalata caprese, bruschetta, etc . . . etc.  But I STILL have more than we can possibly consume!  How did I end up with so much you say?  Well it starts here:

These are the seeds that we saved from the previous year's crop


And this is what happens when you let your HUBBY plant those seeds.

And this . . . 

And this! Did you know that you can freeze it?  I learned this from my Italian Mother-In-Law.

  Just pick the large leaves

 This is our dog, Shelby! She's my basil picking helper!

Give them a good rinse to remove any unwanted little critters. I like to give them a spin in my salad spinner to remove most of the water.

Then place the leaves in the middle of a clean dish towel.

Bundle it up and give it a whirl! (I recommend doing this outside!)

Place the dry leaves in a large zip-top freezer bag, remove as much air as possible, seal and place in your freezer.

Thisis what they will look like when they are frozen.


 We do this every year!  When I need some basil to use in a recipe, I just pull out a handful and crumble them (they'll crumble because they're frozen) right into my soups, stews, marinara sauce, or whatever I'm making!  They will be darker in color than when they were fresh, but the flavor is still there.

Buon Appetito!

33 comments:

  1. You are the basil queen! I never knew you could freeze the leaves like that. Congrats on the new blog!

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  2. Wow! You have inspired me! I am ashamed to say I have never grown fresh herbs and they are very expensive to buy in the grocery store. I am definitely going to give it a try next summer.

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    1. You can do it! You are so right about fresh ones being so expensive. One of the reasons why I plant what we use most - basil, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme and chives!

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  3. Impressive! Like Beckie, I have not grown my own herbs because I have a brown thumb. I would like to grow fresh herbs because they have such a wonderful flavor. Great blog post.

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    1. Thanks! I can't keep a house-plant alive, but herbs are much more forgiving. You should give it a try!

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    2. Thanks Kim. You may inspire me to try it.

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  4. I love this post. I too have basil, basil everywhere. Love it, but there is soooo much, all at one time. Thanks for posting Kim. I will try this.

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    1. Thanks Penny! For certain things, you would still want to use fresh (caprese, for example) - but it works great for sauces, stews, soups, etc.

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  5. I killed my basil this year. Sad - it's my favorite! I'm coming for some of yours, okay!??!

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  6. Great blog. I wish I could have a garden but due to lack of humidity and extreme heat here in the desert I doubt it would do good. Maybe some day I'll give it a shot in containers, who knows.

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    1. Thanks Brian! I actually first started with containers, but then it just wasn't enough. I think we use basil like others use salt.

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  7. Love this post, Kim! I share your love of basil. I always said if I was as much of a foodie when my daughter was born she may very well be named Basil ;)Thanks for the tip on freezing!!

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    1. Marion - I'm so glad that you enjoyed it! That's funny that you say that about naming your daughter Basil . . . my dog likes to lay under my rosemary bush, and when she comes back in the house she smells like rosemary! I always say to her "we should have named you rosemary".

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  8. Great blog! Shared! Thank you for the beautiful pics and wonderful tips.... <3

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    1. Thank you Cindy! I hope others will be able to enjoy the bounty of their basil throughout the year like we do!

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  9. Kim, wonderful blog! I like the way you posted photos. I really think that adds a lot to your blog! I love your Basil helper. Great way to save Basil by freezing. I pinned your site to my pinterest board. This year the garden just didn't happen.

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    1. Thanks Lela! There's always next year for that garden! :)

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  10. I am so jealous of your abundance of basil! Great post Kim :)

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    1. Thank you Valerie! I love your blog - it's so pretty!

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  11. I too am jealous of your basil. We tried some this year and it just shriveled and died in the New Mexico sun. I'm thinking of trying an herb garden indoors, but in the mean time, I have to live through you and your beautiful pictures!

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    1. Awe, thanks! You should give it a try indoors. I'm sure that sun in NM is brutal on plants.

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  12. Kim, I don't quite have the abundance of basil that you have, but certainly more than I need. Think you've inspired me, maybe pesto on the menu this week. Nice blog!

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  13. Thanks lutzflcat! I think I need to make some pesto pretty soon too!

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  14. I love your blog!!!... you should share your basil butter recipe. I made it last night and turned out fantastic!!!... I can say I blame you for encourage my husband and me of growing our own basil and for learning how to incorporate it into new recipes. We are hooked on basil!!!... I wish you all the succes with your new blog. Love you my friend and keep sharing your great cooking tips...

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    1. Awe, you are so sweet! Thank you so much for checking out my blog and for the words of encouragement! I'm so glad that you guys like the basil butter! Love you too, my friend!

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  15. Very lovely blog! I like your personal touch to your descriptions!

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  16. Your herb garden looks so lush and healthy! I do the same thing with my fresh basil except I freeze them in individual serving size baggies...usually 8 leaves per baggie because that's how much I use in my tomato sauce! I love how it crumbles when its frozen! So much easier to chop and add it to my recipes! Great post Kim! =D

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    1. Thank you Lillian! Don't you just love adding the fresh basil to your favorite tomato sauce in the dead of winter! The smell alone just makes you think "ahh .. . Spring"! Good idea about freezing in individual serving size!

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  17. Just harvested our first batch..... we have rosemary and parsley that I am going to do the same as your Basil.....

    thank you for the great tip

    SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Jealous of your Basil Garden

    Paul n Jaci from Imperial MO

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    1. Paul n Jaci - you are so welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

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