Harvesting & Preserving Basil
This is a little bit of a review post. I did a post about preserving basil a couple years ago, and we tried several methods. This year I stuck with the one method that I liked the best from before: freezing in oil. We decided that most of the applications we use the frozen basil for would not be hurt by a tablespoon of oil.
The same day I picked a bunch of lemongrass, I also cut what I wanted from our Thai basil plant and a few stalks from the sweet basil plant. The sweet basil we used fresh for pizza and to make the kitchen smell nice, because we still have some sweet basil ice/oil cubes in the freezer. The Thai basil was what we wanted to preserve, because we like making Thai dishes in the winter.
I chopped it all up in our food processor, and then put it in the ice cube trays, covered with grapeseed oil. Then, after 24 hours, I discovered that grapeseed oil doesn’t solidify in the freezer like olive oil. ARGH! It was kind of funny though, because there were these frozen bits of basil leaves floating in not frozen oil. At that point, I transferred the whole mess into a couple of 1 cup plastic storage containers and threw them back in the freezer. After all, it isn’t so important that the oil solidifies as it is that it protects the basil from oxidation and otherwise getting brown and slimy.