My basil is a little outta control. See those pretty white flowers at the top of the plant? Bad! Those are bad! Basil is actually better when it’s about half this size. So I, using all my vast acquired gardening knowledge, hacked it off with some rusty pruning shears which I then dropped on my bare foot.
I did harvest quite a few basil leaves from this plant, though. And I’ve determined that veggies from my garden will not go to waste this year, so I froze them to use this winter (herbs that retain more water, like basil and sage, are able to be frozen. Herbs with less water, like rosemary, are better off dried). Here are the steps:
1.) Wash fresh basil thoroughly so that your soup this winter is not flavored with summer spiders.
2.) Lay basil out to dry completely. Totally, totally dry so that when you put it in the freezer, there is no water left to form ice crystals on the herbs.
3.) Spread the leaves out on a cookie sheet, making sure they’re not touching each other. Freeze for about an hour.
4.) When leaves are mostly frozen, put them in a Ziploc (or other) freezer bag. Since they’re individually frozen, you can remove the leaves you need for cooking and leave the rest.
When the leaves are defrosted, they’re a little droopy, but they retain their flavor quite well.
You can also chop basil leaves finely, stuff them in ice trays and fill to the top with water. When you make soups, you can pop out basil ice cubes and drop them right in your soup. I chose to flash freeze, though, because it gives you more flexibility when using the basil later.
One of the things I intend to use mine for is this pesto recipe I found on pinterest. Mmmm.