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The Basil I seeded just a few weeks ago is already in need of trimming. Since I want the Basil plants to be full and bushy, I needed to pinch off some of the leaves and stem. But what can you do with the trimmings? Here’s how to preserve fresh Basil so you can enjoy it all winter long.
Basil is great to use in pretty much any Italian dish. Basil pesto is also pretty popular, and here’s a great recipe for a fast and easy Basil Pesto.
Allergic to nuts? Try this Nut Free Basil Pesto!
I love Basil and we use it a lot in cooking. Since we grow a lot of Basil, we could never eat it all when the leaves are ready.
But I have figured out a great way to preserve a lot of Basil. It’s quick and easy. And, the Basil tastes great whether we use it in November, January or any other time of the year.
How to Preserve Fresh Basil
How to Preserve Basil By Drying
Drying Basil certainly works, but it’s not my favourite method. It tends to lose a lot of flavour once it’s dried.
Meh. Not for me. But here is how to dry it, if you want to give it a try.
Dry it just like I do with Lovage (that’s Lovage in the photo above). Pinch off the leaves and lay them on a cookie sheet or paper.
Spread them out so they are not piled onto each other. Leave them for a few days and once dry, crush them (or store the leaves whole) in a Mason jar.
Use whenever you want to add some flavour to soups, stews, salads and the like.
How to Preserve Basil by Freezing
OK, now we’re talking. I like to freeze our Basil leaves. It’s the one method I’ve found that has the Basil leaves tasting just like they were freshly picked off the plant.
I just pinch and trim the leaves. Once the plant is really growing, I can take off a lot of the larger leaves.
If the plant is still small, a little prune job is still possible. Just don’t take too much!
I then give them a good rinsing and run them through my Salad Spinner. Have you got one of these? If not, you should – they are a great time saver.
The spinner holds a LOT of herbs (or lettuce) and makes really quick work of cleaning herbs.
I just cut the Basil leaves into smaller pieces, then I fill ice cubes trays with water.
Fill each compartment with Basil leaves; you will have to push them into place to fit several pieces into each compartment.
Put them in the freezer for a day or two. Once they are frozen individually, pop them all out and put them together in a Ziplock bag.
Back in the freezer they go, to be pulled out whenever we want Basil. One or two Basil cubes will be wonderful in fresh spagetti sauce, tossed into a salad or spread on pizza.
You can’t get much easier than this – make sure you include Basil in your garden this year.
Basil is easy to grow, easy to harvest and easy to preserve. Basil likes a lot of heat and cannot withstand frost – keep this in mind when you plant it.
I put my Basil plants into containers and keep them on the porch.
They’re pretty, they smell wonderful when you brush against them and it’s super convenient to snip a few leaves to include with your meals.
Basil does like to flower early, so keep pinching the top leaves off. This will keep the plant from flowering. Enjoy!
Looking for more about growing Herbs?
Want to learn about Lovage? A super easy herb to grow and it looks great in flower beds!
Ever tried Garlic Scape Pesto ? It is delicious and I have got the recipe here, check it out.
Drying herbs is really very easy, take a look.
Ever thought of growing Hops in your garden or yard?