Herb purees?

lali(z9, Sunset z18, CA)August 21, 2009

My basil plants are going out of control as in taking over my herb garden. I use a lot of it in pasta sauces and other applications, but just not pesto. I'm not a huge pesto fan, but do love the taste of basil in dishes.

What's the best way to harvest/preserve basil so that I have basil readily available whenever I need it (after growing season)? Can I make basil purees (oil + basil without nuts), pop them in ice cube trays and use as needed? This is the first year I've tried growing herbs, so I'm not sure if or when my basil plants will stop growing (going dormant/dying). They are lush and large at the moment and would like to take advantage of that now.

Thanks for reading...

lali

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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

You can use an oil, or better yet, a little water and freeze. It can keep well for up to about 6 months if tightly wrapped. A Food Saver machine with the heavy weight plastic bags will offer the best as to flavor retention.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 6:17PM
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lali(z9, Sunset z18, CA)

ksrogers - I was thinking of adding water, but not sure if that would work since most people used oil + nuts in their basil mixtures. I like the idea of using water since it freezes easier than oil and won't add anything extra to the herbs.

Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 6:46PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Unless your just wanting to make pesto, avoid the nuts. I use pine nuts, but they are partially roasted and chopped fine when searving the pesto. If you want to seson other things like tomato sauces and such, you would not need any nuts. Even for that, if you have a lot of garlic finly chop that with the basil and feeze. I would not use too much water to making the mixture, but add enough to make it like a soft paste.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 5:06PM
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