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Year-round Basil

pam's picture

Year-round Basil (post #62556)

Hi,
I see that Issue #9 had a tip for "year-round basil;" and since I don't have the magazine, was wondering if someone who does would be kind enough to take the time to post the tip for me.
Thanks,
Pam

Gretchen's picture

(post #62556, reply #1 of 19)

Well, I would be interested in that also. I think Wolvie says she can keep it year round, but I don't have the right sun, even in a greenhouse!

Gretchen

Gretchen
rosie t's picture

(post #62556, reply #2 of 19)

Basil Leaves All Year


My garden produces lots of great basil during the summer that withers during the first chilly nights of fall. Here's how I freeze what I can't use, making August's harvest last through the winter.


Start by removing all the leaves from the stems. Wash and dry the leaves (I liked to use a salad spinner for this last step). Next, take two yards of waxed paper and lay it across a table or kitchen counter. Spread the clean, dry basil leaves on the paper in a single layer, leaving the last foot of paper empty. Now begin slowly rolling the paper up from the filled end--just as if you were rolling up a carpet. It's important that the leaves stay in a single layer, so this can take a few starts and stops. Roll the last, empty foot of waxed paper to seal the package.. Put the rolled basil package into a plastic bag and then stow it in the freezer. When you need basil to cook with, simply unroll the paper enough to expose a few leaves, roll the paper back up, and put it back in the freezer. While the basil's color will have turned an olive green in the cold, the flavor is wonderfully preserved--better than dried basil from the supermarket.


Margaret Kasten, Norwalk,CT


 

Gretchen's picture

(post #62556, reply #3 of 19)

Oh, thanks. I thought we were talking really FRESH grown basil.  ;o)

Gretchen

Gretchen
rosie t's picture

(post #62556, reply #4 of 19)

That's what I thought when I first read the post.

KitchenWitch's picture

(post #62556, reply #5 of 19)

I think we were all hoping for that.
But I'd guess the only way that would happen is with one of the neato AeroGardens. those are awful pricey - it would probably be less expensive to buy the $3 packets of fresh herbs in the market.


we had an unexpected ice pellet storm on friday and it beat the heck out of my basil plant before I could get it in the house (I was lucky I made it home - there was 2 inches of ice pellets on the road!) the tomato plant was okay, though. I'l be making pesto tomorrow with all the beat leaves, I think.


crazy weather we're having. the beach at the lake was supposed to open this weekend, but with ice and snow on the lifeguards' towers Saturday, I don't think so.


~RuthAnn
foom!


~RuthAnn

rosie t's picture

(post #62556, reply #6 of 19)

I just planted all my herbs last week. I can't see putting out all that money for the Aero Garden either. If I need fresh basil in the fall and winter I splurge on the hydroponic grown basil. That doesn't sound like nice beach weather you've been having. This is the first day it's been in the 80's here in Maryland.

Gretchen's picture

(post #62556, reply #9 of 19)

But see, we can do that aero=garden for $10 and a fluorescent ballast!!  DD must have had 300 little plants under fluorescent lights in her room for seedlings. Supported on concrete pavers!! Wonderful plants. DH spent $$$ constructing a rack for his seedlings/lights.


But you are right.  I personally do not mind dried basil at all in cooked foods so this is not a problem for me.


Gretchen
Gretchen
madnoodle's picture

(post #62556, reply #12 of 19)

They close beaches where you live?  How do you close a beach? 


 


There's fifteen feet of snow
And it's colder than a welldigger's as*.


Tom Waits

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

 

Adele's picture

(post #62556, reply #13 of 19)

They close water places here all the time.  You close the access roads, post signs.  If it's the actual beach- as in ocean- depending on what the reason is, you can sit on the sand, but not go in the water.  There are patrols for that. 


Beach- if rip tides are especially bad they will close a portion of the beach.  Rock Springs is closed this weekend because of bacteria.  That's a state park, really cool place.  You can tube down it.


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

madnoodle's picture

(post #62556, reply #18 of 19)

Huh.  I never knew that.  Things are pretty unregulated here in the great white North (and I'm married to a man who thinks a barrier across a road is a challenge).

There's fifteen feet of snow
And it's colder than a welldigger's as*.


Tom Waits

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

 

KitchenWitch's picture

(post #62556, reply #14 of 19)

it's a regional park on the lake - I guess it's not so much closing the beach as not opening the gate where you pay admission for day use (and rent paddleboards, buy snacks, etc. ) the rest of the lake is still open for fishing, walking around, feeding ducks and whatnot.

~RuthAnn
foom!


~RuthAnn

madnoodle's picture

(post #62556, reply #19 of 19)

Thanks for the clarification--I get it now.  As I said to Adele, it's pretty much a free-for-all up here.  And the idea of a snack stand on a beach makes me chuckle.  I forget sometimes that the rest of the world is a lot more developed than we are.


There's fifteen feet of snow
And it's colder than a welldigger's as*.


Tom Waits

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

 

pam's picture

(post #62556, reply #8 of 19)

Thanks so much. My daughter and I both use basil in many things (I do the growing) and we've been looking for a way to have it to use all year.
Pam

rosie t's picture

(post #62556, reply #10 of 19)

I was thinking if you use a top sheet of wax paper on top of the basil and an empty paper towel cylinder it would make it easier to roll up and unroll.

Gretchen's picture

(post #62556, reply #11 of 19)

I think saving it that way is not as effective as just pureeing it in a little oil and freezing it. It isn't preserving the color, and the amount of "fresh" needed in a cooked dish is much more than dried. Dry your own fresh basil and use that dried. I'll bet it is more flavorful, and a whole lot easier than this.

Gretchen

Gretchen
Glenys's picture

(post #62556, reply #15 of 19)

I really don't think much about basil in the winter, not zero but not much either since it really seems harmonious to me with summer foods. If I really need some, I buy the stuff at the market $10 lb (do the math on smaller amounts) that the Italians bring in, ground grown, from Hawaii.
Beats anything grown under a light anytime.

Glenys's picture

(post #62556, reply #16 of 19)

If you blanched and flashed the basil in ice water with some ascorbic acid (StayFresh?) it holds it's colour. Lots of chefs use that step, especially for pesto.

rosie t's picture

(post #62556, reply #17 of 19)

Thank you for the tip. I think I saw Michael Chiarello do that on one of his shows. He tossed  ascorbic acid tablets in the blender when he was making pesto.

Adele's picture

(post #62556, reply #7 of 19)

Move to Florida.  Hahahaha! 

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!