Preserving basil

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by kevin20422, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. kevin20422

    kevin20422

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    I have just a few leaves of basil left from the last 4 oz batch of O organics and it is going bad soon.  I was just thinking you might be able to just put it in a vessel of olive oil so it did not go to waste.  A little basil flavor would not hurt the oil and you could put it alot of dishes instead of letting it go to waste.

    And while we are at it:  is there any use for basil stems, I hate to see them go to waste.

    I am not a real penny pincher I just hate waste.  I used to try and put carrot pulp from a juicer in bread.  Now that's pushing it!!

    The price dif on this basil at the grocery is amazing 2.50 for .66 oz and only 3.50 for 4 oz.  I cant wait for my homegrown (basil) to come of age.
     
  2. siduri

    siduri

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    I'm sure there are plenty of people who will give you the full scientific information, but what i learned from reading these forums is that you take big risks preserving raw plant stuff (basil, garlic, etc) in oil.  Apparently it is a good way to get botulism, which is deadly.
     
  3. charron

    charron

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    There are home-cook tricks for preserving basil, like drying it in the microwave or freezing it in ice cubes.  Not sure about the oil.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lookaround.gif

    Personally, if there are just a few leaves left, I'd find a way to eat them. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
     
  4. siduri

    siduri

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    Right, freezing.  I forgot about that.  You can wash and then just freeze in a plastic bag.  The texture will be different afterwards, but the taste is pretty good. 
     
  5. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Make pesto.  It freezes beautifully.
     
  6. kevin20422

    kevin20422

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    Thanks for all the great ideas.  I especially appreciate the one about safety.  It is not so simple as to toss it in oil.  Very good point.
     
  7. numed

    numed

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    what we do is simply lay a few sprigs over paper towel in a1/4pn and cover(changed as much as needed) and it seems to hold for a few days
     
  8. gerdosh

    gerdosh

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    Siduri is right, the is a risk (though extremely small) in preserving anything in oil, thus anaerobic (no oxygen). What i do with extras is freeze dry that preserves most flavor and easy to use. After washing basil, chop it then air dry it on a baking sheet for an hour or two until most of the moisture is gone; now you can pack it into a freezer bag and freeze. Since there is not much moisture left, the chopped basil pieces remains separate, easy to scoop.
    Basil stems:into the frozen stock pile with bones, extra veggies, etc for your stock.