Saturday, October 6, 2012

What to do with all that summer basil??

Back in August I made a post to Facebook that I was harvesting some of my summer basil. A friend from high school asked how I was doing that which gave me the idea that maybe I should document this as others maybe interested.   As previously mentioned we just moved to a new house. The house was built on land that was formerly farm land so the soil is good and we are always finding weird things growing in our yard!

So what to do with the basil?  Well I decided to freeze a bunch of it and also make some yummy basil oil!
Here's the crop!

Go through and separate the good leaves from the stems

Once you pick the good leaves out put them in a sink of water to wash off all the dirt and bugs.

Check each basil leaf as they are pulled out of the water

Here are the reject stems and leaves ready for composting!

So many beautiful and big basil leaves

Back into a sink of clean water for a second wash to get any dirt that was missed the first time.

Next I put them in my salad spinner in batches to get all the water off of them. They are going to added to oil so the leaves need to be as dry as possible.

Puree really fine in the food processor

Stream in olive oil until you get a pretty liquid mixture

Strain the basil and oil through a fine mesh sieve

Push it through and try to get out as much oil as possible.  The basil pulp is what will be frozen.  Be sure to strain the oil a second time to get out more pulp.

The pulp goes into a silicone muffin holders or ice cube trays then into the freezer for a few hours. Once solid they get wrapped individually in plastic wrap and put in the freezer for future use.

Let the oil sit and settle and skim oil off the top. This is amazing over fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. Use within a week or two.

Happy Basil Harvesting!!