What Should I Do With This Basil?

I belong to a CSA. We aren’t guaranteed to get herbs in our weekly share (you pay extra for a “herb share”) but every now and then the farmer will toss in some herbs if he has a lot. Last year we got dill and parsley and rosemary. This year we so far we’ve gotten parsely, and basil, and basil again, and now, basil the third time. In each case, it’s an enormous buundle you can just barely get your hand around. I guess it’s been a good summer for basil.

So here I am with my third bundle of basil in three weeks, trying to figure out what to do with it. The first two bundles were used in various cooking but most of it went into two batches of pesto. I had also previously made pesto from garlic scapes. So minus what I ate fresh already, at the moment I have 6 half-cup chunks of pesto in my freezer, all vacuum sealed and good for at least a year. And I’m not longer really in the mood for pesto.

In case anyone finds it important: When I made the two previous batches, I couldn’t get pignoli nuts before the basil started to wilt, so I used walnuts I had on hand. Now, I have pignoli nuts.

My options as I see them:
More pesto.
I could dry it – it’s been humid but I do have a dehydrator.
I could puree it and freeze it in those tiny cubes like you get at Trader Joe’s (I saved an empty container)

1/4 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves

1.75 ounces each

peeled garlic cloves
chopped onion
sundried tomatoes(soak the tomatoes until soft, reserve the water)

Take the above four ingredients and place in a blender and chop/mince the heck out of it. If needed use just a little of the tomato water to make sure it blends well.

I use this pulp in bread i make at work, to season it. Or it could be used like pesto, except it’s redder, and not green.

I suppose it could be used in soups or dressings or blended into spaghetti sauce.

It can be frozen and used whenever you need it.

You could make this. It’s quite nommy.

Or caprese salads, if you’re into the whole raw tomato thing. Or pizza margherita.

Or you could make and freeze tomato sauce.

And yeah, it’s been perfect basil weather.

Pack a bottle full of basil leaves. Then fill it with cheap basalmic vinegar. Or the good stuff if you are rich. Makes a great salad dressing or dipping sauce for bread. The smell alone is to die for.

Find pretty bottles to do this with and you’ve got a bunch of house warming/guest at dinner/random holiday gifts. I use sambuco bottles myself.

I got nothin’!

No, wait!

Pork loin, dry rubbed with sage and basil, shove it in the oven with onions, serve with mash taters and gravy.

As far as recipes involving basil, to be frank, I’m pretty sick of basil from eating it morning, noon and night for the last three weeks.

I am really only looking for a method to preserve it for a later time. Recipes like the one in Baker’s post are awesome!

Do what I said. Or freeze it and do what I said later. That keeps forever in the freezer or the vinegar filled bottle.

Sybil Fawlty had the same problem.

Make it into lasagne, pop into the freezer for some time you want lasagne and won’t have time or basil to make it.

Bacon, tomato and basil sandwiches! I could eat one (or more) every day. Don’t like tomatoes? Bacon and basil on buttered toast for breakfast.

Basil Salt

Thanks everyone! How would I make decisions without the Dope?? I used about half of what I had to make another batch of pesto. I took about 1/4 and chopped it fine in the processor and then crammed it into my teensy-herb-ice-cube tray. I kept whatever was left over for eating/deciding later.