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There’s nothing like walking out onto your deck and picking fresh basil to add to a recipe. But sadly, for much of the year in Minnesota, that is not an option.
I am a terrible gardener, but I’ve always been successful with basil. It grows gangbusters for me, for some reason.
Several years ago, I looked into various ways to preserve my harvest. To maintain freshness, I decided against drying. I found a number of different methods of freezing herbs. Some involved water as a base, some oil. I tried both methods and have settled into what I like best. Olive oil.
This is such an easy process, y’all.
Here’s what you need:
- Basil leaves
- Olive oil
- Ice cube trays
The first time I made these, I chopped the basil, put it in the trays and filled with olive oil. That works fine, but I’ve discovered a much easier method that gives better results. I use my blender/food processor.
You can wash your leaves…I’m lazy and don’t. I give them a shake to get off any bugs that might have sneaked in when I picked them. Of course if the leaves are dirty, from a heavy rain stirring up the soil, or whatever, wash them. (That falls into the Duh category)
Put the leaves into your blender/processor and pour a little oil over the top. I don’t measure, because you’ll end up adding more anyway. All you want is enough oil to get things moving in there. Maybe 1/2 cup?
If you’ve made homemade pesto before, you’re familiar with this process. If you wanted to, you could blend the leaves to a paste here, like that. I don’t, though. I’m just going for a sort of fine chop. It’s never perfect, and that is OK with me. I am not a perfectionist. A few bigger pieces are yummy, I think. But blend as finely as you prefer.
Next you just take a spoon and scoop spoonfuls into your ice cube trays. I usually fill each one about 1/2 full.
Then you pour olive oil over the top. It helps prevent browning.
After they’re frozen, pop them out and store in a labeled Ziploc bag. I use mine all year, mostly in spaghetti sauce, lasagna, and things like that. But you can use them in lots of ways…be creative!
In the deep of winter, while I can’t walk outside and pick fresh basil, this is a close second. It’s a fresh taste of summer when there’s snow on the ground.
I’d love to hear how you’d use these little frozen gems.
This recipe, like all my recipes, is shared in the Meal Plan Monday link up. You can find the link in my sidebar – or right here!