Sunday, August 19, 2007

basil harvest

IMG_7098 IMG_7113
Its been another good year for basil. Today we harvested a good bag full and processed it partially for pesto. Just ground the leaves with a bit of olive oil and froze it in baggies. We add nuts, garlic and more oil when we use it.

I left enough of the plants so that I can use fresh leaves now and then and so that the plants will regrow. Last year I got a second crop in October.

Ocimum basilicum


Anonymous said...

good idea to mix with oil. but why do you freeze it afterwards? doesnt the flavor stick to the oil?

my basil is looking great as well.

i will begin harvesting in a week or 2.

kathy said...

The basil won't keep long unless it is frozen. The mix is mostly basil leaves, with enough oil added to make it a smooth consistency and help the leaves stay bright green. Its a pretty common way to store pesto.

Usually we make the pesto before we freeze it by adding cheese, nuts, garlic, salt and oil to the basil leaves and running it through a food processor until smooth. However, this year, we didn't have the time. It works fine to just add the oil and then process and freeze it. We'll just add the rest of the ingredients when we thaw it to use it.

We usually make enough pesto to last all year. Our batch from last year is just now running out.

You can freeze pesto (or basil plus oil) in big or little baggies, or freeze it in ice cube trays then store the cubes in baggies. We usually freeze logs of pesto in big baggies and then cut off 1 inch slices when we want to eat it.

Enjoy your basil harvest!