This has happened to me two years in a row and I’m trying not to take it personally. I plant a cute little basil plant from Lowe’s in the early spring (remember when Brian built me this amazing raised bed?). It grows and gives me some beautiful basil leaves for a month or two. Then somewhere around mid-to-late-summer, despite adequate watering on my part (well at least this year), its leaves become small and yellowy. And crazy little white flowers sprout up all over it.
But! Then, a rogue basil plant sprouts up in this totally random spot (it’s been the same spot both years…) and flourishes.
It got even bigger by the end of the summer with absolutely no attention (I shunned it).
But as the weather turned colder and I realized I should take advantage of the random fertile patch by the air conditioning unit. What to do, what to do… Should I make pesto? I don’t really want or need that much pesto… Was there a way to preserve this bounty without making pesto? What if I just pureed the basil with a little olive oil. Would that work? I decided it was worth a try. If I ended up with usable basil, great! If not, I was no worse off than I was at this point last year. So, I cut off all the branches from my rogue basil plant and brought them inside.
I picked off all the leaves and washed them.
Then I loaded them all into my trusty food processor and chopped them up.
Once I added a little bit of olive oil, I spooned it into a mini muffin tin (you could use a regular muffin tin, you’ll just end up with larger servings). Then I stuck it in the freezer and let it harden.
Once it was all frozen, I popped them out and put them in a freezer bag. Now I use them just like I would fresh basil – did you see my most recent pasta sauce? I just pull my basil bag out of the freezer whenever a recipe calls for fresh basil. You can either let the little pod thaw, or pop it frozen right into a sauce.
I know this is a little late for immediate use, but something to keep in the back of your mind for future use. I’ve used several of my pods with much success.
Do you have any other suggestions about how to preserve summer’s harvest?