Monday, March 9, 2015

How to Make ~ Preserved Fresh Basil...


MY precious mother and I dearly love our little kitchen garden and pottering about in it...  
We enjoy talking about the various herbs, vegetables and flowers we have growing, and a few of the lovely things we would like to try with them such as soaps, and herbal teas...  

Often we will sit outside in the early morning with a cup of coffee in hand, discussing the seeds we would like to sow or what needs to be done in order to tidy the garden up a little...

Being busy with Heartmade, music, schoolwork and other commitments doesn't allow me too much time for garden work these days, but I do enjoy those hours spent in the pleasant autumn sun, tilling the brown earth and listening to the glorious sounds of birds, bees and the occasional peal of laughter from my younger sisters who too delight in being outside and playing in the moist soil...


Recently my mom and I needed to find a simple method of preserving our bountiful harvest of fresh basil...  
This is one of our favourite herbs and we use it as often as possible in our cooking!

Thus, we researched a lovely recipe for preserving our blessing of basil and now I would like to share it with you as I am indeed so pleased with the outcome! 


"Basil has a strong and unique flavour. It is best to add it right at the end of a dish to make the most of its flavour.  It is most commonly used in Italian dishes, paired with tomato.  However its robust flavour makes it the ideal herb to accompany a wide range of dishes."

Jane Griffiths, Jane's Delicious Herbs.

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How to Make ~ Preserved Fresh Basil...


Begin by collecting your basil in a lovely little basket...don't forget to wear an apron as it will truly transport you to the sweet days of 'Little House' and you will feel like dear Laura or Ma collecting their precious harvest and preserving it for use in the coming Winter...

Harvest leaves once the plants are at least 20cm high.  When the flower buds form, pinch them off at least two nodes down to encourage leafier growth...


Now you need to wash your lovely leaves in water to remove any dirt, bugs, etc.  Even organic basil needs to be rinsed...


Dry the basil leaves gently with paper towel or a clean tea towel.  Don't crush the leaves, just pat them gently to remove all the water... 

...Now we are ready to begin...

Blend basil with olive oil until it forms a thick paste...


You might need to blend it in stages...

Hmmm...just smell the gorgeous aroma of crushed basil waft through the air...
 

Freeze this paste in ice trays until solid, then transfer to freezer bags.  You can add whole cubes to soups or sauces or defrost to use in salad dressings...

Recipe adapted from Jane's Delicious Garden by Jane Griffiths.

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How do you preserve your herb harvest?
What is your favourite culinary herb?

Happy Monday dear friends!  I hope your week is a wonderfully blessed one!


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A lovely thank you to my sweet sister, Nancy, for graciously taking these photographs for me! 

19 comments:

CGrace said...

Yummy. I'm quite certain I could smell basil reading this post. :) Have you ever made pesto? That is very often what I do with my large supply of basil. I'm sure you can find a recipe online, but it's basically basil, olive oil, parmesan, and nuts (the recipes usually call for pine nuts, but those are so expensive, so I often use walnuts). Then I will freeze 1/4 c. amounts of pesto to get me through the winter. :)

Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood said...

Hello dear Grace! Thank you for your lovely visit! I have indeed made pesto before, however that was quite some time ago! Isn't basil the most wonderful and versatile herb...? I dearly love using it in my cooking! I agree, pine nuts are dreadfully expensive which is so sad! I would like to try pesto again using walnuts - such a superb idea!
Hugs to you and a blessed day!

Shoregirl said...

I've been wanting to start a little herb garden sometime, and your post certainly inspires me in that direction! Maybe this year......

Debby Ray said...

I do love me some basil and this is a great way to preserve it!. I grew some in a pot on my deck last summer and it was great to just step out and pinch some off when I needed a little! It smells heavenly, doesn't it? Have a lovely Tuesday, Kelly-Anne :)

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Hi Kelly Anne, This is wonderful and reminds me of time spent with my grandmother. The scent of basil always reminds me of her. Loved your post.
Hugs, CM

Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood said...

Oh! I'm so very glad...a herb garden is richly rewarding and I'm sure you will enjoy the delights of harvesting fresh herbs for your cooking!

Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood said...

...Isn't it just gorgeous, dear Debbie... I love, love sweet basil and how easy it is to grow!!
Have a blessed week further:)
Love, Kelly-Anne

Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood said...

What a beautiful memory, Celestina - thank you for sharing... And so happy to have you visit today - much love and blessings!

Sarah Rega said...

What a lovely post, Kelly-Anne! Coming from a large Italian family, I simply adore basil and the many, many uses we get out of it. Growing up, my mother always had oregano growing just outside her small kitchen window. Now whenever we use the fresh herb in our cooking I am brought back to that little (actually it was quite large) garden and how I would just sit among the sent and breathe in memories...
Thank you for such a sweet post - it reminded me of times past that I treasure!
~Sarah

Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood said...

Dearest Sarah...what sweet, sweet memories! How you must treasure them, my friend, when using basil in the kitchen to flavour various dishes! Thank you for sharing and for your lovely visit! Hugs and much love to you!

JES said...

Great tip shared in a beautiful way Kelly-Anne. I just love your blog :) Thank you for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! I will be doing this if the ants don't get to our plants again this year...

Stephanie said...

You are so beautiful, dear Kelly-Anne :) This post was a joy because I learned something new - thank you, sweet friend! I look forward to trying this.

I am so thankful for you and for your faithfulness in linking up with Roses of Inspiration. Much love!

Vicky Hunt said...

Thanks so much for sharing this Kelly-Anne! I love basil...it's my favorite herb. When the kitchen remodel is finished, I will have to make some of this to put in the freezer. Thanks for visiting and leaving a delightful comment. It truly warmed my heart. You are a sweet blessing and I am happy we "met". Have a blessed Thursday.

Hugs, Vicky

Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood said...

Oh JES...I dearly love your blog as well - the recipes and encouraging posts you share are always so beautiful...:)
And I hope that the ants don't get to your basil!!
Blessings and love!

Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood said...

Dear Stephanie - how I praise the Lord Jesus for the very great and beautiful blessing of encouragement you are to me! Thank you!
May your day be wonderfully blessed and I'm so glad you enjoyed this post!
Big hugs and lots of love!

Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood said...

*You* are such a sweet blessing to me, dear Vicky! Thank you so much for your kind words and I too am SO glad we 'met'! Praying your day will be extra special! Much love!

Bethany Carson said...

I grew basil in my garden a couple years ago; it certainly has a strong scent, and is very good in spaghetti sauce! My favorite herb would be lavender--not so much to eat as to smell. Sugar, or perhaps chocolate, is my favorite herb to eat (they are herbs right?!)

Kelly-Anne @ Beautiful Girlhood said...

Well...you could make lavender sugar and then it could be classified as 'herbal sugar'?!! :)
I'm so happy that we share a common interest in gardening, Bethany! And I always love having you visit! Blessings!

Jerusha T. said...

This is such a great idea... I can't wait until spring so I can start planting my herbs for the year!