Help with basil!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2007
Help with basil!
Tue, 09-02-2008 - 12:09pm

Since buying fresh herbs where I live can cost a person just as much as the meal they are cooking, my mother and I decided to plant a basil plant in our garden. We ended up with two plants (long story). The problem, they are flourishing!!! Doesn't sound like much of a problem, right? I don't know how to take care of it or what to do with all of the basil. We had thought we would transplant them to a pot for the winter, but the plants are much too large to be in a pot right now. Can you freeze basil? Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Etsy Banner
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2008
In reply to: mom2d_j
Tue, 09-02-2008 - 12:53pm

Hi Andrea - you can pick off the leaves and put into a container with olive oil and toss it in the freezer. Portion it out so that you don't have one massive clump. Use it as needed in cooking. Also, you can make a large batch of Pesto and portion it out into smaller servings. You can either put it in small containers or an ice cube tray. When the "cubes" are frozen pop them out and put them into a container for storing in the freezer. If you make the pesto, slowly thaw/warm up the pesto on low heat and remember not to add the cheese until you are ready to serve it. In other words, don't freeze it with the cheese in it. I use any kind of Romano or Parmesan cheese - I don't think it has to be Pecorino.

Basil Pesto
Recipe courtesy Food Network Kitchens

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese (see Cook's Note)

Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper. If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw and stir in cheese.

COOKS NOTE: If using immediately, add all the oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2003
In reply to: mom2d_j
Tue, 09-02-2008 - 7:35pm

It also depends on what kind of basil you have.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2005
In reply to: mom2d_j
Fri, 09-19-2008 - 10:26am

Here are some other ideas:

Yes, you can freeze basil - see link.

We are trying our hand at drying our very large purple basil in stems bunched together and tied. I'll let you know how it goes.

I'm going to try and bring some of my pots of basil in over the winter into our garage. Not sure if it'll make it or not, but worth a try.

Good luck!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2003
In reply to: mom2d_j
Fri, 09-19-2008 - 7:51pm

I have brought some of my herbs in over the winter.