Basil days….

The season for fresh basil is coming to an end, with frost predicted here tonight….

basil2

The basil plant is very sensitive to frost

It seems as if I’ve been meeting a lot of people lately who have end-of-basil-season panic.

Some of them intended to make pesto all summer but never got around to it, for lack of time or ingredients.

Others, like me,  did make some pesto, but now have more basil than they can deal with before the first frost hits.

So, I’ve been offering my stress-reducing solution for preserving that fresh basil in a hurry.

Here it is:  Toss handfuls of basil leaves in the blender, add plenty of water and blend it all together in a kind of green slurry. Now fill ice cube trays with the stuff and stick them in your freezer till solid. Then take out the cubes and put them in a zip-lock plastic bag in your freezer.

Basil cubes are not very pretty, but it's not glamor you're after here...

Basil cubes are not so pretty, but it's not glamor you're after ...

So–what do you do with these things? Just drop one into a soup or sauce whenever you want some of that summery fresh-basil taste.

I like to add basil cubes to minestrone soup--a fall and winter staple

I like to add basil cubes to minestrone soup--my cold weather staple.

With that little batch of pesto I did manage to pull together, I made a pesto pizza:

P1000057

If you were ambitious enough to make a lot of pesto, you could freeze some of that too.

There’s a great video here on Chowhound about making pesto the Italian way. I can see I’ve got a lot to learn. Maybe next summer….

Let the basil days linger on....

Meanwhile, let the basil days linger on....

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2 Comments

Filed under bread and pizza, fall, soup, summer, Uncategorized, vegetables

2 responses to “Basil days….

  1. Toby:
    Great post. Would love you to blog about the nuances of good minestrone soup.

    I froze chopped (not pureed) basil leaves in ice cube trays, and the pieces floated to the top like bleak, defenseless shards. Looked very weird, but still works in soups. I’ll puree with water next time.

  2. Rick Steigmeyer

    I have a whole bucket of basil in the back room, but no room in my freezer for pesto or basil cubes. I guess it’s time to clean out the freezer.

    Toby, I covet your minestrone pot!

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