Thursday, 15 March 2012
Too much Basil
My basil has gone crazy this year. Hubby doesn't eat cheese, so I couldn't make a huge batch of pesto to use it up, which left me to think about what I could do with it. Well I decided to cop out and let future Abby worry about that, so I froze it.
Did you know you can freeze basil and it's almost as good as new when you come to use it? It's much better than dried basil and easy to do, and should sort out your basil supply for the Winter. Here's how you do it.
Pick your basil and wash off the bugs and dirt. Dry it off in a salad spinner or gently with some paper towel. Cover a tray in cling wrap (I used a cake cooling rack) and lay the basil leaves on it in a single layer. Put it in the freezer for about 4 hours. The basil will be snap frozen. You don't want to forget about it and freeze it overnight, because the basil will get freezer burn and go a bit black. It'll probably still be fine to put in pasta sauce though. My freezer has a little 2 inch gap above the top shelf that I put the rack in to freeze the basil. It's like it was made for that rack.
After 4 hours, take the tray out and quickly pack the basil leaves into zip lock bags. Squeeze out the air and seal them up and then put it back in the freezer. Take out the leaves as you need them. They defrost in seconds, and you can chuck them straight into sauce or the blender.
While this isn't as good as fresh, it's the closest I've come and I feel like it's much less effort than getting out the food processor.