Introduction: Basil and Olive Oil Icecubes for Cooking

A quick and easy way to preserve basil by freezing it with olive oil - great for using all-year-round in pasta dishes, omlettes, steaks, fish, chicken, sausages, and fried and baked vegetables.

I love basil and always have a few basil plants in the garden. Since basil tends to go to seed without regular pruning I make sure to harvest a good handful of leaves once a fortnight... but what to do with all that basil?!?

Well I turn mine into basil and olive oil icecubes (a great preservation method I read about online somewhere). They're quick and easy to make, and fantastic for pasta dishes, omlettes, steaks, fish, chicken, sausages, and fried and baked vegetables.

Step 1: Pick and Rinse Your Basil Leaves

Pick a good handful or two of basil leaves and soak them in a bowl of water for a few minutes to remove any dirt.

Apparently the best time of day to pick basil is before 10am as this is when the leaves contain the most oil and taste the best.

When clean put your basil leaves on paper towel and pat dry.

Step 2: Chop Up That Basil!

Finely chop the basil. You can do this with a kitchen knife but I find it a lot easier and faster with a herb chopper (I use this herb chopper - $8.95 - from IKEA; yes, I love IKEA, I admit it).

Step 3: Combine Basil With Olive Oil

Tip your chopped basil into a bowl and add enough good-quality olive oil / your favorite cooking oil to cover the basil. Mix through.

Step 4: Spoon Into an Icecube Tray

For this step I recommend using an icecube tray you don't mind 'losing' because you'll never be able to use it for normal icecubes again.

Spoon your basil and oil mix into the icecube tray - from two handfuls of basil you should have enough to make 14 icecubes. Top up with more oil if needed and freeze for 2 days before using.

I like to make a batch of these and just put them in a ziplock bag when they're frozen so I can make another batch, that way there's always plenty available as I seem to use them with nearly everything I cook! :)

Comments

author
MJ27 (author)2016-08-08

this is interesting ....the basil an """"oil""" freeze/... i didnt think oil woul freeze...

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NancyB104 (author)2016-07-08

I have so much basil I am wondering what to do with it all. It is starting to flower and I need to do something. Iplanted a little to much. Freezing and drying it is.

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SueP17 (author)2015-09-30

also, is oven drying a good way?

author
SueP17 (author)2015-09-30

does one method over another preserve the flavor better? (Air drying, freezing)

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saosport (author)2013-04-11

Why can't you uso the ice tray for regular ice after going this?

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chrisilou99 (author)saosport2015-07-19

My guess is that the fragrance of the basil will never leave the tray-so your ice might be basil flavored...just my guess.

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chrisilou99 made it! (author)2015-07-19

So glad to have learned how to freeze basil in oil!

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firefightermeyer (author)2015-05-22

great idea

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jnevitt1 (author)2014-05-14

I love my Basil and I live EVOO... happy ,happy , happy ,........

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chilipepper10 (author)2012-07-01

You have made my day! Thank you so much. I have three basil plants(I know that isn't many...lol). I wonered how I as going to dry them....I love the icecube method. I have Greek Oregano...will the icecube method work with those? Or any herb for that matter.

Chilipepper10
Lexington, KY

author
grannyjones (author)2011-10-18

I blended olive oil with lean bacon.
Under my fried eggs--it's to die for.

author
Nelyan (author)2011-08-14

Ooh! Great idea! I must tell this to my mother, she has almost too much basil growing in her garden! :) Hmm. This reminds me; how about some home-made chicken stock-cubes?

author
ladyKrone (author)2010-06-19

Such a good idea! I've been trying this with thyme and pesto as well and it works great! I have a few of the small, flexible ice trays lying around the house that are way to small to be useful for ice cubes but make just the right amount of herb/oil cubes :)

author
swampfox (author)2010-06-11

you can do this with pesto too! Just make your pesto, put it in icecube trays with olive oil over top and freeze.. remove when frozen and store in bags.

author
Gottwinkies (author)2010-06-10

This is great! My sister in law is a huge herb gardener and she does this a bit differently-just puts olive oil in a blender, adds her herbs until until she has a runny paste and then she freezes it in either ice cubes or in a small container. Voila! a tiny scoop out of the container and she has a great addition to any dish. Great job putting this into an 'ible. I encourage you to try it with different herbs or try a blender if you REALLY have a lot of basil/rosemary/yummy herbs

author
Jayefuu (author)2010-06-05

(N)ice ible! I have some herb cubes in my freezer :)

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tim_n (author)2009-08-19

What I like doing is coming on instructables with an idea and finding it's already been done and done well with pictures! You can also use water when freezing, or if you don't have an icecube tray you can spoon the mixture (either oil or water) into a plastic bag and lay it flat on the freezer shelf. Then just shatter it and use the chunks as needed. Another thing, don't store the icecubes in the tray. Once you've frozen them, empty the tray into a plastic bag leaving you free to make more and it's quicker to get them out too!

author
hsteel (author)tim_n2009-08-19

Thanks fallscrape :) I like your freezing water idea, I think that would work really well for soups and steamed vegies, or stirfries where you want the vegies a bit more boiled than fried.

author
mouthwashninja (author)2009-01-10

That's really neat! Hmmm... do you think this could work with other herbs as well?

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moonshinebluebird (author)2008-09-06

Thank you so much! I just got off the phone with my mother discussing freezing basil and wow I never ever would of thought to freeze the olive oil! Your rock :)

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hsteel (author)moonshinebluebird2008-09-06

Glad to help and thanks for your lovely comment :)

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Sandisk1duo (author)2008-08-29

wow, the oil really freezes?

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hsteel (author)Sandisk1duo2008-08-29

Yes, and that consequently preserves the basil :)

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Babyshoes (author)hsteel2008-08-30

Simple yet effective! I didn't think the oil would freeze, for some reason!

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homesteadcat (author)2008-08-29

Great idea! I have some basil in the garden and will make some cubes tomorrow. Thanks!!

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hsteel (author)homesteadcat2008-08-30

Thank you :) I hope your icecubes turn out well, just yell if you have any questions!

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aliceownsj00 (author)2008-08-29

Never fear, I too have a deep love of Ikea! This is a great idea, my mother in-law would love this idea, she's always going outside while cooking to get fresh basil haha

author
hsteel (author)aliceownsj002008-08-30

Thanks very much :) Hehe me too before I started making these.

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