How to Freeze Fresh Basil

My little tiny backyard is all shaded. This makes me mostly happy – it’s nice and cool through the summer. We never go out there, though, because the mosquitoes attack you like your blood is the sweetest thing they’ve ever had. The shade ALSO means that I can’t grow anything edible. My mom is totally into gardening and while I like to have a neat, nice looking yard, I did not inherit this interest. It might have something to do with the fact that I am definitely crazy-person-level-arachniphobic. Remember how I said my husband and I are in a grilling stalwart? We are also in a gardening stalwart.

I would plant a veggie garden if I had sun, this is for sure. Instead I go to Gentiles, in Newtown square. If you live within a 30 minute drive from this wonderful place, you need to start going once a week. I got all this for 55 bucks –

ANyways – the huge bunches of basil were $1.50 each! Just can’t pass that up. Maybe you ARE lucky enough to have sun in your yard and you DO grow basil; in August your manageable basil plant turns into turns into monster basil plant that tries to take over your yard. You can’t eat that much caprese and pesto, so here is a suggestion for you – freeze it!

This is how to freeze your basil.

1. Pick the leaves off the stems, rinse it well, and dry it in your salad spinner.

2. Put as much basil as you want to save into a food processor. Maybe a blender would work? I don’t know, I didn’t try it, but it’s worth trying if you don’t have a food processor. 

3. Process until finely and uniformly chopped.

4. Add olive oil at a rate of 2 tbsp. per 2 c. basil (packed), or until the mixture looks sort of clumpy.

5. Spray a pan that fits in your freezer with nonstick spray (if you don’t have one, use a dinner plate).

6. Drop basil by spoonfuls (about 2 tsp. worth) onto the pan. Freeze for at least 30 minutes or until basil is hard.

7. Remove and place in an airtight plastic freezer bag (first press as much air out as possible).

You can use this recipe in pasta sauces, soups, or anything else that calls for fresh basil! It will keep in your freezer for 4-6 months (that’s till JANUARY if you do it soon!).

You really can freeze anything. If you ever wonder how long food will keep in your fridge or freezer, check out this site:

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