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What am I gonna do with all this basil?

InvictusInvictus Registered User regular
I have just made a significant tactical error, friends.

I have just returned from my community-supported agriculture pickup, and while I was there, I got into a staring contest with the owner, with her contention being that she would give me all the basil I could want, and my contention being that I wanted all the basil she could give me.

Well, it turns out that I lost, not least because, by square footage, her basil is about half as big as my apartment, and she had to cut it down anyway to keep it growing. But before I finally admitted defeat I accumulated, uh, a lot of basil.

Like, a lot a lot. Of the big size produce thin plastic bags they give you at the supermarket, I think I have like four stuffed full of fresh basil. This is particularly a problem because I am alone in the house now, and therefore cooking for one, not two. Thus, the title of the post.

Current plans: I was gonna make an herb salad for dinner tonight with some other stuff, but it turns out she was also willing to give me lemon basil, lime basil, and Thai basil, and mint, so I took enough of all of that to make my salad tonight and then some. That doesn't help with my giant mass of normal basil. I intend to make a big vat of pesto, but srsly, I think I can make and freeze all the pesto we could want for the next 6-9 months and still have a lotta basil left. (Btw, this is my first time making pesto; I am taking all advice on that point as well.)

So what else should I do with all this basil?

Generalísimo de Fuerzas Armadas de la República Argentina

Posts

  • XandarXandar Registered User regular
    Pesto is the most basil intensive thing going. Pignoli ( pinenuts) are your most expensive ingredient. You can substitute sunflower kernels or almonds if you are on a budget.

    Basil can also be frozen for use later in cooked dishes or dried.

    Seriously I use a whole large (for bread) freezer bag of basil for one batch of pesto and it doesn't last long. (My wife really likes pesto though). I usually cut the pesto with heavy cream and toss with pasta and whatever else is around the house. Good luck!

    OsokC8u.png
  • FightTestFightTest Registered User regular
    I have no advice for the use of large amounts of basil. I can only tell you that while fresh basil smells amazing, rotting basil smells like Satan's asshole. If you can't use it get it out of your house before it's too late.

    MOBA DOTA.
    Echo
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    Pesto, dry the rest.

    If you are a Costco member, the sell pine nuts super cheap. Alternatively you can basically use any nut. Pistachios work ok too

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    LoveIsUnityMentalExercise
  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    I wholeheartedly third the pesto suggestion. I grow basil and it grows like crazy. I make pesto with it, put it into a silicone ice tray and freeze it. Then when I make pasta - I defrost a single pesto cube. Delicious and lasts practically forever.

    EchoNightDragonTofystedeth
  • UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    Pesto freezes beautifully, I like mine with walnuts in place of pignolis

    MaguanoCelestialBadger
  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2013
    Basil gimlets.

    For everyone.

    firewaterword on
    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
    TehSloth
  • InvictusInvictus Registered User regular
    Basil gimlets.

    For everyone.

    I take this recommendation seriously. Just like a standard gin gimlet, but with muddled basil?

    Generalísimo de Fuerzas Armadas de la República Argentina
  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2013
    Invictus wrote: »
    Basil gimlets.

    For everyone.

    I take this recommendation seriously. Just like a standard gin gimlet, but with muddled basil?

    Yessir. Lime + gin + sugar + basil. Here's my buddy's recipe - stolen adapted from a great SF bar called Rye:
    When mixing this cocktail at home, its important to have a few good tools of the cocktail trade: a muddler, shaker, and fine mesh strainer. When muddling the cocktail, make sure not to break down the leaves of basil too much as you are only looking to bruise them and release their oil, not make a paste. Also, whenever shaking cocktails, it’s important to keep your glasses, alcohol, and shaker as cold as possible to prevent excess dilution. Finally, when pouring your drink, strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve to catch any stray bits of basil for a more elegant presentation.
    INGREDIENTS
    5 basil leaves
    1 medium lime
    1/2 ounce of Simple Syrup (2 cups sugar boiled with 1 cup water until dissolved)
    2 1/2 ounces vodka or gin
    METHOD

    1. Place 4 of the basil leaves into a mixing glass and squeeze the lime in on top.

    2. Press down on the leaves of basil with a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon until the leaves are bruised but not broken apart. About four or five twists with muddler should be fine.

    3. Fill the mixing glass three quarters of the way up with ice and add in the simple syrup and vodka or gin.

    4. Give the glass a good shake and strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a chilled martini glass.

    5. Garnish the drink with the remaining basil leave.

    * - you can serve this up or on the rocks. I like it up in a martini glass but hard to beat an icy highball on a hot day.

    firewaterword on
    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
    InvictusUsagiKafkaAUMichaelLC
  • TabooPhantasyTabooPhantasy Registered User regular
    Basil simple syrup for a delicious twist on cocktails!

    ~Taboo
    BH11Fnk.png
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    nth-ing pesto. I loathe basil with a passion but somehow love pesto. I like mine with a little parmesan cheese in there.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    Echo
  • k-mapsk-maps I wish I could find the Karnaugh map for love. 2^<3Registered User regular
    Yup, pesto is a fairly versatile ingredient (pizza, pasta, sandwiches), there's absolutely nothing wrong with having a life-supply of it and should be easy to make in bulk. Otherwise, you start to get into more complicated dishes that might not scale as well.

  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON Registered User regular
    I guess nobody's reading the OP since you already said pesto - aside from pesto, some options are:

    Freeze a bunch of it so you can have basil later.

    Herb butter is great.

    You can infuse some oil with the basil (Another link).

    You can blend basil (or tomato and basil, or garlic and basil, and so on) into all sorts of sauces/spreads you can make, like hummus, mayonnaise, vinaigrettes, etc.

    Basil beer bread sounds really good - beer bread itself owns and basil would be great in it.

    Basil + watermelon, balsamic vinegar, and feta cheese is pretty nice in the summer.

    Make a shitton of tomato sauce and freeze that so you can basically make pasta with tomato sauce any time. Make pizza sauce too, freeze that, make pizza whenever you want.



    Maguanotapeslinger
  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    A simple basil, tomato, mozzerella, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil Bruschetta. That will use a ton of basil.

    I don't have courage but I have something else.
  • k-mapsk-maps I wish I could find the Karnaugh map for love. 2^<3Registered User regular
    Just an out-of-the-box suggestion, maybe one of your friends may enjoy some of it?

    tapeslinger
  • oldsakoldsak Registered User regular
    Basil gimlets.

    For everyone.

    Seconded. These are awesome, especially in the summer.

  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    I guess nobody's reading the OP since you already said pesto - aside from pesto, some options are:

    Herb butter is great.

    oh my god
    basil butter
    yesssss

    /swoon

  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Basil ice cream.

  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Lemon herb chicken is pretty good, but it's not as basil intensive as pesto.

    http://southernfood.about.com/od/chickenbreastrecipes/r/bl60110b.htm

  • -SPI--SPI- Registered User regular
    A great way of freezing basil into easy to use portions for spaghetti or whatever is to push it into ice cube trays. Pour some water over the top and then pop out your basil cubes into a container in the freezer. Then chuck in one or two next time you make bolognese or what-have-you.

    Drying is the best bet for reducing the size though, you can use a massive amount just to fill a small jar of dried crushed basil.

    seasleepy
  • UncleChetUncleChet N00b Lancaster, PARegistered User regular
    I just recently had basil/garlic polenta that I pan fried (it was shaped to tube, that I sliced about 1/2" thick) it was Amazing with meatless marinara sauce.]
    Also,if you have any friends, that Thai basil goes amazing on many many soups and noodle dishes (rice stick noodles).

    I'm sometimes grumpy and random, feel free to overlook the strange man in the corner.
  • radroadkillradroadkill MDRegistered User regular
    Thai curry! We use Thai Basil when we can but honestly you can use regular basil with near the same flavor.

    Nerdgasmic wrote: »
    Like some sort of raptor or the Great panda, Rad cannot properly initiate egg preparation if she senses a disturbance within her environment.
  • BigBearBigBear If your life had a face, I would punch it. Registered User regular
    JebusUD wrote: »
    A simple basil, tomato, mozzerella, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil Bruschetta. That will use a ton of basil.

    Even without the bread, you still got a super good Caprese salad going there.

    V1m
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