SO MUCH BASIL!
Several folks we know grow basil. The thing about basil is, when it grows, it tends to grow well and have plentiful leaves. When summertime arrives and the noonday heat beats down on it, basil needs plenty of water to keep it happy. Other than needing water, it's pretty easy to grow! Basil is so wonderful to have on hand to throw a couple of snipped leaves in tomato sauce for pasta, a few slivers on pizza as it comes out of the oven, or everyone's favorite - fresh basil pesto!
But what happens when your basil plant grows fast and furious, you already have pesto made and frozen for the wintertime, and yet you still have more basil leaves?
I found myself with a lot of basil right before a recent camping trip. I knew I had to cut the basil, as it was going to seed and bushing out way too much. I cut many stems, removed the leaves from the stalks (see above picture) and washed all of the leaves up. After running the leaves through the salad spinner to remove the excess water, I got to work. I put small batches of the basil leaves in my mini chopper (or you could use your food processor to make it go even faster) with a bit of olive oil. That's it! I didn't add any salt, spices, etc. All I did was add a bit of olive oil to make the basil easier for the machine to chop up.
After I had the basil/olive oil mixture, I spooned it onto plastic wrap in little mounds. I left enough room in between each mound so that it would be separated from the next mound. I then folded the plastic wrap over the mounds, and pressed to "seal" the mixture in the wrap. I then placed this row of five or so mounds inside of a freezer bag to place in the freezer.
My goal in doing this is now I have the fresh summer bounty of basil for my late summer canning projects or cooking throughout the fall. I can easily break off a bit of a mound, or use the entire mound, if so desired.
Some may ask, "Why not dry the basil instead?" Truth be told, I could have gotten out my dehydrator, but I didn't want to take the time to do that. This seemed easier and quicker for me in this situation.
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