Buckets of Basil

Bev from Gosford, NSW Australia asks:

Dear Kurma,
Firstly, thank you for your wonderful site. Could you please help me with a query? There are many recipes using small amounts of basil but are there ways in which a lot of basil can be prepared?

I grow basil in my garden and have lots of it, both green and purple. I add basil leaves to my lettuce based salads but wondered if I could use the basil leaves as the base ingredient and simply leave out the lettuce. Also, can basil be cooked? Thanks!


My answer:

When I had a lot of basil growing in my garden, I picked the leaves, then I chopped them fine in a blender with a little water and packed the slurry into ice cube makers. When frozen I popped them out and put them into ziplock bags in the freezer – ready for soups, pasta sauce etc. when basil is out of season. You can also dry the leaves and store them in ziplock bags.

Of course, basil can be eaten fresh and raw in salads, in as big handfuls as you like, taste permitting (it can be strong-tasting). The sweet Genovese Basil (pictured) is especially nice fresh in salads.

It can also be thrown raw into soups and casseroles or pasta sauce, and the summum bonum – pesto.
Posted by Kurma on 1/3/06; 1:26:30 PM

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