Saturday, August 1, 2009

The secret life of frozen basil

I'd like to pass along a tip that I learned from watching my mother many years ago. She had this method of freezing parsley and basil so that she would have it year-round. She was a young girl during the depression, and had to take over household duties at 16 when her mother died prematurely. So she took on growing, canning, and preserving whatever she could.

Below are photos, and I apologize for the quality - it's hard to show how this is done with one hand on the camera.

Needed; herbs, small squares of aluminum foil, zipper-style bags

After cleaning and drying the herbs, gather a handful that you can squeeze into a tight golfball size lump.

(Note: I am right-handed. Reverse positions if you are left-handed.)

Transfer the bunch into the center of a square of foil, quickly covering the herbs and keeping them packed as tightly as possible.

Pinch the loose ends of foil and cover the opening.

Store in labeled, zipper-style bags in your freezer. To use, peel the end flap back enough to "shave" off the herbs into your stew, potato salad, or other epicurean delight. Fold the flap back over the herbs to protect from freezer burn.

I have kept basil, parsely, dill, and cilantro for almost a year (or until completely used up.) Try it with a small batch of extra herbs this year. If it works for you, then you'll have a neat trick for your harvest from next year's garden or farmers' market. Happy cooking!

You are welcome to pass this on information, however if you do, then please link to this post or otherwise mention that you heard it from me. Thank you!


MyStory of HiStory said...

Basil is one of my favorite herbs. Yum. Cilantro too. Thx for the tip!

Mug said...

Ohhh, thank you! We love basil, but we can't use it fast enough. I've got to send my daughter to your blog.....they have a small herb garden, and the basil has REALLY taken off!

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Hi Mug,
I envy anyone with an herb garden! I'm supporting the farmers' market this year.
When I had a garden, I used to make a small batch of pesto for Sunday nights out of my basil. It even goes great on burgers.
Hmm, maybe I'll make some later!
Thanks for writing!

Carol E. said...

Great idea! I've been wondering how to keep the cilantro we don't use... thanks! I'm going to link to this from my blog.