Thursday, September 1, 2011

Summer in a Jar III

My garden has had a few struggles this summer with the high heat we have had. My tomatoes are just enough for our table, so I will have to find my local farmer and hopefully he was more successful than I, so I can make my salsa and  diced tomatoes that get us through the winter. 
What I do have is a TON of basil.   Just walking through it makes my nose have it's own party!!!!   Just love basil and it is so versitile.   Many of us think about Italian food, but it is also in Thai and Mediterainean for too. 
Last night I froze 8 bags of basil leaves for the winter meals.  I have tried lots of ways to preserve it, and just freezing it seems the best.  If you like these helpful hints, ways to preserve summer produce, let me know. I have generations of recipes that I would love to share, but don't want to bore you with them all.  :)

Freezing Basil

pick, wash and deleaf stems of basil.
Put the leaves in a salad spinner to get them really dry. (very important part)
     If you don't have a spinner, pat dry with a towel.
Stuff a freezer bag full with the leaves, no need to be stingy,  just shove them in. Squeeze out the air,   That's it.  Off to the freezer you go.


Using Frozen Basil
The blessing with frozen basil is you can break off chunks  to  use in pasta, soups etc.




Basil  Vinegar
Love, Love basil vinegar and it is soooo easy to make.
I use regular vinegar 5% acid the kind you use for pickles.
I take the stems/flowers from above, chop them up into small pieces
Put the stems in a pot with vinegar to cover, bring to a boil, turn off.
Let them sit in the hot vinegar till it cools, strain and put in a jar. 
For Holiday gifts, I buy the fancy glass containers, put in the basil vinegar, with a few leaves ( be sure the leaves are dry- water is not good for your vinegar)  then seal.
Now isn't that simple.


You can do this will all the different types of basil. 

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