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! :)