Tip: Freezing Summer Basil

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There was a great question in last weekend's open thread. Erin from Indy asks:

What can one do with armfuls of basil, besides make pesto? I'm allergic to nuts, so pesto is out, and as much as I love basil with mozzarella, on pizza, etc., it's getting a bit old.

We loved Nadarine's suggestions for strawberry-basil sorbet and strawberry-cava basil mimosas. We also wanted to point out a tip that we are planning to use later this summer: in spite of advice to the contrary, you can indeed freeze fresh basil for use later.

There are great step-by-step instructions over at Kalyn's Kitchen. Kalyn says:

The secret is to chop the basil in the food processor with enough olive oil that all the basil gets coated with oil. This keeps it from turning dark in the freezer, and when you need basil to make something wonderful like basil vinaigrette, or Blog From Our Kitchen's wonderful sounding Pesto with Whole Pine Nuts, you just let it thaw and proceed like it was fresh basil.

Check out her step-by-step photos. So there's one more idea for armloads of basil! We are still using our little plant quite frequently, but we may stock up our freezer with fresh basil around the end of the summer.

Here's a few more ideas of things to do with fresh basil...

Herb Butter (Also freezes well)
Spotlight on Basil
Basil Sorbet
Insalata Caprese

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.