There are a couple of methods for preserving fresh basil all year long.
You can dry the basil leaves in the oven for 2 to 3 hours at low temperature. Or blanch the leaves for just a split second in warm water, dry them and freeze the leaves separately.
My favorite way to preserve fresh basil is to puree it, make a fresh basil pesto and freeze it into small portions in an ice cube tray. Fail proof! And very handy and ready to use in lots of recipes. I love to add them to soups, risotto, pasta, vinaigrettes or potato mash.
So here’s how simple it is!
Preserving basil: frozen basil pesto cubes
Step 2: fill an ice cube tray with the pesto
Step 3: freeze the pesto for 24 hours
Step 4: remove the pesto cubes from the tray and keep them in a plastic bag or container in your freezer for further use
Preserving basil: frozen basil in olive oil
Here’s another way to freeze your fresh basil! Much quicker and perfect for salads or meat marinades…
Step 1: rinse and slice the fresh basil leaves
Step 2: divide the sliced basil over an ice cube tray
Step 3: fill the tray up with olive oil
Step 4: place the tray in the freezer for 24 hours
Step 5: remove the basil and olive cubes from the tray and keep them in a plastic bag or container in your freezer for further use