Preserving Fresh Basil


“Fresh basil is one of my favorite herbs. I love the aroma and I love the way it prepares in food. So today, I’m going to show you how to preserve that fresh basil when it’s in season to use all year. The first method is to freeze blanched basil leaves. Remove the leaves from the stems and blanch them in boiling water for 2 seconds. Immediately transfer them to an ice bath. Dry completely and freeze the leaves on wax paper. Once they’re frozen, transfer them to a freezer safe container, separating the layers with wax paper. Use just like you would fresh basil leaves. The second method is freezing chopped basil leaves. Wash and dry the leaves completely. Use a food processor to puree the fresh leaves with olive oil, using one tablespoon of olive oil per cup of basil. Freeze the pureed basil in an ice cube tray, then store in a freezer safe container. Use the frozen basil like you would chopped basil in sauces and other dishes. Finally, you can dry the fresh leaves. Wash and dry the fresh leaves completely. Set your oven to the lowest temperature. Place the basil leaves on a parchment lined baking sheet, then place it on an upper rack of the oven. Bake for 2 to 4 hours, until the leaves are crumbly. Use just like you would regular dried basil. Try some of these methods and you’ll have fresh basil all year.”

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