Basil is an ideal summertime herb. It grows well under a variety of conditions and, at some point, the plant will likely go into production overdrive. This leaves you with a bounty of fragrant basil, often more than you can use before it goes bad. Blanching is one method of preserving the basil, which can then be frozen for later use or used immediately in recipes. Blanching involves plunging the food into boiling water, allowing it to cook very briefly and transferring it to an ice water bath to stop the cooking process.
Things You'll Need
- Pot or saucepan
- Slotted spoon
- Paper towels
Wash the basil leaves so they are free of dirt, insects and debris.
Boil a pot or large saucepan of water.
Prepare an ice bath in a bowl with several handfuls of ice and water. Have the ice bath prepared before you blanch the basil.
Plunge the basil leaves into the boiling water for 15 seconds. Remove them immediately with a slotted spoon and put them into the ice bath for 10 seconds to stop the cooking.
Lay out the basil leaves onto paper towels to dry. Pat dry to hasten the process. Alternatively, squeeze the leaves dry between paper towels.
Tips & Warnings
- Place the basil leaves in a heatproof colander and put the colander directly into the boiling water and the ice bath. This makes the blanching process move more quickly.
- Photo Credit Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images
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