I didn't bother growing basil in my garden this year, because we always receive such large quantities from our CSA. I froze the last batch that we received to use later in the fall and winter when I make a lot of soups and casseroles.
It is fairly easy process, but you can't just put the basil leaves in the freezer like I do when I freeze other herbs. The basil leaves will turn black in the freezer. Instead I made a basil puree and froze in 1 tablespoon portions.
How to Freeze Basil
1. Remove the long stems from the basil, leaving just the leaves. Rinse the basil and dry using a salad spinner or squeeze out the excess water with a clean towel.
2. Place the basil leaves in a food processor and start pureeing the leaves. Slowly drizzle extra virgin olive oil into the food processor while it is running. Use approximately 2-3 tablespoons of the evoo for every 2 cups of packed basil leaves.
3. Spoon the pureed basil into an ice cube tray, about 1 tablespoon per cube. Place int the freezer.
4. Once frozen, move the basil cubes into a freezer bag. Label the bag. Use the fresh basil into soups, stews and casseroles.
How do you preserve fresh basil? Let us know in the comments.
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