Freezing Basil Leaves in Ice Cube Trays
Freezing basil is a great way to preserve fresh basil for the winter months. Every summer I plant fresh basil in my garden, and it is definitely one of my favorite herbs. It smells amazing! It tastes amazing! And it’s all around an amazing herb!
I know you can dry your basil leaves or just buy dried basil. It all adds good flavor to your dish. But the taste of dried basil will never compare to the taste of fresh basil. And I have found that preserving basil in oil and freezing fresh basil in ice cube trays keeps the fresh taste of the basil leaves alive.
How to Preserve Basil for Winter
Basil is a culinary herb that is used in many different cuisines. And in my opinion, sweet basil is essential in any Italian dish. Whether you are making pizza, spaghetti, lasagna, parmesan chicken, or any other Italian dish, adding fresh basil takes your dish to a new level. Of course, you need to wait to add the basil until your dish is about finished cooking, to preserve the fresh flavor.
So I love having fresh basil in my garden, and I use lots of it all summer long. But what about the winter months when your basil plant freezes to death? It is possible to grow basil in your kitchen, but honestly, I have never tried that yet. Maybe someday?
But my basil plant usually gets pretty big, producing lots of fresh leaves all summer long. I use a lot of it for cooking, but there’s still plenty of leaves left to harvest and freeze for use during the winter months.
Basil in Ice Cube Trays – Freeze Fresh Basil
My favorite way to preserve fresh basil is by making basil ice cubes. Then whenever I’m making an Italian dish, I pull an ice cube or two from the freezer and add it to my warm sauce. Give it enough time to melt, stir it into your sauce, and you’ve got that amazing taste of fresh basil.
Do the Amish Eat Italian Food?
My blog and my recipes are all about the Amish, so you might be thinking, “But Italian food isn’t Amish, so what type of dishes would the Amish use frozen basil cubes in?” Well, you’re right, Italian food isn’t Amish. But that doesn’t mean that the Amish don’t eat Italian food.
The Amish have some food that is unique to them, and many of them eat a lot of meat and potato meals. Honestly, I think they probably eat a lot of typical German food, which makes sense since they have German and Swiss roots. But they also eat other cuisines.
I very seldom ate pizza growing up, but we did eat spaghetti and meatballs, and occasionally we had lasagna. So we did eat more than just traditional Amish food. However, my dad was not fond of Mexican dishes. I remember the first time that I made enchiladas, my dad turned up his nose and was like, “What is this?” He dumped the filling out of the tortilla and ate it by itself. Obviously, that meal did not have his approval. lol 🙂
My mom stuck more with the traditional meat and potato meals, but we girls liked to venture out and try new recipes.
And of course, you can use these basil cubes to add flavor to more than just Italian dishes. Add frozen basil cubes to soups or any dish that would taste good with added basil and garlic.
How to Freeze Basil in Ice Cube Trays – How to Freeze Fresh Basil
To harvest and preserve fresh basil simply cut off the basil stems and wash them. Pluck the leaves from the stems and drain off any excess water. Chop the basil leaves, garlic cloves, and parmesan cheese. (If you want to make pesto, go ahead and add some pine nuts as well.) After this is chopped add the salt and olive oil. Mix.
I’m adding an affiliate link, as once again my trusty Ninja chopper did the work for me. Seriously if you don’t already have a good chopper, you need one of these. I use mine all the time.
Using a spoon or small cookie scoop, fill each hole of an ice cube tray. Freeze basil cubes until solid. Remove the cubes from the tray and place them in a ziplock freezer bag. They will keep well in the freezer for at least up to a year.
Amish Recipes you may want to try…
These Basil cubes would be a great addition to my Amish Beef Stew Recipe
Freezing Basil in Ice Cube Trays
- 2 c. basil leaves, packed
- 7 cloves garlic
- 1/2 c. parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2/3 c. olive oil
- Cut off several large stems of basil and wash them.
- Remove the leaves from the stems and drain off any excess water.
- Chop the basil leaves, garlic cloves, and parmesan cheese.
- Add the salt and olive oil. Mix well.
- Spoon into an ice cube tray. This should make twelve cubes.
- Freeze until solid.
- Remove the ice cubes and place them in a ziplock freezer bag.
- Add one or two frozen cubes to the sauce when you are cooking spaghetti, lasagna, etc. Or add the cubes to any dish that would taste good with added basil and garlic.