A simple way to store basil you may have been growing this summer, is to make an almost pesto and stick the puree into ice cube trays. Here’s what you do:
Take a whole basil bunch and give it a good rinse under the sink to get rid of any dirt. Shake it dry and pull the leaves off, discarding the stems. Put the leaves in a blender or food processor. You can pack it pretty full. Add 1/2-1 garlic cloves, or omit if you don’t like a strong garlic flavor. Start the blender and drizzle in good quality EVOO. You may need to stop now and again to push the leaves down. Don’t do this while the blender is running or you might lose part of your spoon!
Once you have a thoroughly pureed product, you can pour the mixture into an ice cube tray (see above) and freeze it. Then pop one out every time you want to add basil to soup or sauce or whatever it is you are cooking. If you want to toss with pasta, you still need to add the cheese and optional pignolis, but we like to leave these out when freezing to allow for more flexibility of use with the basil cubes.
Don’t forget to check out our Italian supper guide!