Tag Archives: basil

Freeze it for the future…


Let’s continue our basil saga and add to our recipe book…

Frozen basil for cooking

When I’ve started growing basil on my window seal, I didn’t expect it to go so well that I’ll have to look into several ways of using basil as well as storing some for rainy days.

After trying basil infused olive oil and basil pesto…the next best thing is to prepare basil ready to use for cooking and then freeze it so it keeps for longer.

This is the simplest way of storing basil and completely ready to be used.

Ingredients: 2 cups basil leaves, 4 tbs olive oil. Whizz it all together until the leaves are finely chopped (you might have to add a bit more olive oil if the mixture doesn’t look smooth enough).

I’ve used one of my trays for ice cubes, heart shaped…hahaha, it doesn’t really matter what you use to freeze them as long they are frozen in the shape/quantity you would use them for cooking.

I like a light flavour, when I am cooking so I’ve only filled 1/2 of each heart cube. I’ve left them to freeze for two days after which I’ve transfer them into a freezing bag to store for longer in the freezer.

When cooking, I would just add them directly frozen depending on the dish. I mostly use basil in tomato based dishes, but it can be added to so many other recipes.

Hope you’ve find this useful, if you ever have too much basil on your hand.

Your Girl with their Apron,

Julia

Just another pesto…


Following from my last post about the basil infused olive oil…happy to report the basil saga continues with …you’ve guessed it, pesto.

I absolutely love to grow basil and it feels amazing to cook with it, smell the beautiful green leaves…

Besides using fresh leaves in cooking, I have recently made my first basil infused olive oil, which is a game changer when it comes to certain dishes, especially tomato sauce.

Today, I want to share with you the next best thing you can make with basil and that is pesto.

I absolutely love pesto and so far we have only made kale pesto which is delicious with pasta.

Basil pesto with pasta

Ingredients: 2 handfuls of washed basil leaves, 30g pine nuts, 20g walnuts, 40g Parmesan, 100ml olive oil, 1 clove garlic. Cook the pine nuts until golden, then add them to the remaining ingredients using a food processor. Whizz until smooth, then season to taste, I only add a sprinkle of salt.

The above will get you enough for 2 servings of pasta. You can always double the quantities to have pesto for later, always store in the fridge until used.

I always fry the pesto, just a bit before coating the pasta and serving straight away, but that is a personal preference, you do not need to do it, but it does elevate the taste of the dish.

Once all ingredients are mixed, you should get a a smooth like texture, you might need to add more olive oil as you mix, depending on the rest of the ingredients. The secret is, bigger the quantity, easier the mix.

Basil Pesto

Just another pesto…but so delicious.

Your Girl with the Apron,

Julia

The king of leaves


Homegrown Basil

My adventure started learning how to grow basil at home.

I love basil, the flavour, the smell…the taste in food, absolutely everything about it. After successfully growing my own basil from cuttings, I was a bit worried I wouldn’t be able to store it any other way besides drying them. So the research began…

Besides drying the leaves and using them in everyday cooking, I have also found how to infuse olive oil with basil leaves and then use to cook or as dressing for salads and cold plates.

I thought you will find it useful if I share how I’ve done it, as there are so many recipes out there, but this one worked for me.

Recipe/How to infuse olive oil with fresh basil/no cooking involved

First, wash the leaves well, my basil is homegrown/indoor, so I know exactly what’s on the leaves…NOTHING, but nevertheless they need to be clean. Once washed, the leaves are put in boiling water for exactly 1 minute, process called blanching.

Remove them from the hot water and place in ice cold water to cool down quickly.

Dry them on a paper towel, I’ve also used a paper towel on top to soak the excess moisture

Place the blanched basil leaves, olive oil and pinch of salt in a blender and mix until completely smooth.

This should be your final result

You can use immediately or store in the fridge for just over 1 week.

I’ve used mine straight away in making some delicious tomato sauce for spaghetti, the taste is absolutely amazing, nothing compares to it.

Especially that before I used to add leaves to my sauce but the flavour wasn’t always there.

See below measurements:

1.5 cup of basil leaves, pinch of salt and 1 cup olive oil.

If you want a stronger basil flavour, put 2 cups of leaves to one cup of oil, this will also make it much thicker, perfect for dressing salads.

Let me know if you have tried this recipe and what do you think.

Lots of love,

Your Girl with an Apron