Friday, October 5, 2012

guest post: the triple dish!

Let's kick off this month of brilliant guest posts with a friend from college, Briana!
She has an awesome little site, The Triple Dish, that she runs with two friends and they cover everything from fashion to food to fun!
She agreed to put together a post for me and just read below for some awesome tips on my favorite herb, basil!

Eating, Storing and Freezing Basil

The season of basil is about to come to an end, so in effort to use all of the basil growing in my garden I have been brainstorming ideas to store it. That way, in the winter, I will not have to pay an arm and a leg for a sad looking bundle of basil from the grocery store!

What do you do when you have this much basil!? (Do not follow my poor gardening by letting your basil plant grow flowers; it changes the flavor of the leaves!) I blame the ridiculously large spiders that have made my garden their home…

After you have made enough pesto to last a lifetime…get creative! Here are some other ways I have successfully stored basil:

1. Freeze the full leaves. This way they can easily be crushed into soups, flavored water, cocktails and just about any dish you can think of! (Chilled and frozen basil will often lose some of its bright green coloring; do not worry if it has a brown tint). Wash and separate leaves, pat dry, lay flat on a baking sheet, freeze for 30 minutes, remove and carefully place in a zip top bag and then put back into the freezer!

2. Freeze homemade pesto, or a puree of basil and olive oil. (I like to store things in plastic zip top bags, but you can also freeze the basil and olive oil mix in ice cube trays)

3. Make Basil Butter! Great on breads, shrimp, pasta and I cannot stop thinking about making homemade pretzels coated in this! Bonus; this butter freezes well!
Combine 1 stick of butter, 1 cup chopped basil, 4 chopped garlic cloves, 1/8 tsp pepper and 1/4 tsp salt. Mix together and tightly wrap in plastic (you can shape the butter however you like)!

There are tons of delicious ways to use basil (you all should definitely check out Katie’s strawberry basil ice cream!). I use it the most to make this healthier pesto and basil flavored drinks.

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