My friend Karen once had, what I now refer to, as the “mother-load” of Basil harvest. She handed be an armful bouquet of Basil… and she still had more to spare. I have yet to experience such a harvest again. So now, because Basil can be so persnickety in the garden, and because I love it so much, I rarely take Basil for granted. When it’s here, and it does grow, I use it or save it.
But how do you save Basil? You can always make batches of pesto, leaving out the cheese, and freeze portions… that works well…but what if you just want to preserve the Basil leaves?
Freezing makes it slimy… and can’t even imagine blanching it. Drying Basil strips the herb of its flavor, stripping away the oils. Then, I found this…
perserving basil in salt.
The salt, unfortunately, does not take on the flavor of the basil, but the basil leaves do maintain their flavor. So, you can re-use the salt. Plus, who wouldn’t want to open the freezer in January, and see a jar like this, just waiting to be topped on a pizza.
To preserve Basil in salt, simply layer sea salt in a jar, and add basil leaves. Keep the salt jars in the freezer and use the basil within six months.