Basil in February – I Hope So!

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I mentioned here that it is starting to feel more like fall here in TN. My herbs are starting to have that fall look to them. I read at Kalyn’s Kitchen about freezing fresh herbs to use throughout the winter. I have never tried that before, always opting instead to spend a small fortune on those little tiny plastic packages of fresh herbs from the grocery store. What was really frustrating was that, more often than not, when I opened the packages I would find them moldy! After reading about how to freeze herbs, I thought that I would give it a try here. I make lots of soups and curries in the winter and tossing in some fresh herbs will really make a difference.

I read Kaylyn’s post about this several weeks ago, and I didn’t go back and look at it again before I started the process, so I used a blender instead of a food processor. I don’t know that it really makes a difference, but I think a food processor might be better. I had to keep shoving the basil leaves down in the blender and it ended up that those on the bottom were almost liquid, while those on the top hadn’t even been touched. Since I use basil in a lot of Mediterranean dishes, I used olive oil to keep the basil moist. I’m going to also try this with my Thai basil, and I’ll probably use a more neutral oil for that.

This was so quick and easy to do, the hardest part was trying to find our old ice cube trays! We’ve had a refrigerator with an ice maker for so long, I had no idea where the trays were. I didn’t do any canning this year, or last year, or the year before that, so it feels good to have put away something for the winter. I feel so like Laura Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie. That is…if Laura had a blender, a refrigerator and a freezer!

Also, thanks to Katie from Thyme for Cooking for letting me know that my blogger feed has not been updating since July 31!!! I think that was right around when I signed up for Feedburner. Which was really stupid, because I don’t have any idea what feedburner is, or why I even wanted it. But part of the process involved my typing in my feedburner url, or some such thing, and I type it in wrong. So, I think that is what has happened to my feed. I’m not really sure how to get it back, since I barely know how I lost it. I’m hoping that by erasing the incorrect name, deleting all possible feedburner feeds, that I am back to square one. If anyone else subscribes to me, and thank you from the bottom of my blogger heart, please let me know if you start receiving an updated feed.

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  1. says

    It’s working just fine now – when I opened Google reader all 25 missed posts were there!
    I freeze basil the same way – using a blender and olive oil. I also just roughly chop with a knife, put it in the trays and add a bit of stock or water for times I don’t want the added oil.

  2. says

    I wish I had a place to grow herbs, where the kids and dog (and the cursed deer) wouldn’t go there. I’ve heard of freezing herbs in water for use in soup.

    We found your little town one day, when we were looking at houses on the ridge (I think it’s Missionary Ridge) in Chattanooga. Ultimately we settled in Maryville; we still have an office there. It’s still warmer there than here – enjoy the weather while it lasts!

  3. says

    Good job! I think the basil will still be great for soup or pasta sauce even if it’s not evenly chopped. Even with the food processor that happens a little. You will love having that burst of fresh basil flavor in the middle of the winter.

    I don’t know if you have a Foodsaver (love the Foodsaver!) but I pop the cubes of basil out of the tray and seal them in a Foodsaver bag.

  4. says

    I grow basil in a small vase and it has grown quite a bit since I bought it (1 1/2 years ago).
    I have never tried to freeze basil, Pam, but I do freeze parsley all the time – I buy large bunches of it and I never have time to use it all before it goes bad.
    I wash the leaves well and let them dry completely. I chop them and then place them in a plastic airtight container and freeze it. I sprinkle it frozen directly on the food I’m preparing.

  5. Pam says

    Kalyn, I do have a food saver, and my basil cubes are safely sealed away! I’m going to do the same with the thai basil and my tarragon.

  6. Pam says

    Patricia, I always buy parsley and I never think to freeze what I don’t use! I should probably try and freeze all the cilantro that I buy every week.


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