I always have so much basil in my garden and it can turn black so fast. Here's what I do to have that garden-fresh basil flavor all year. I put fresh, cleaned basil leaves in the blender with just enough water to blend it to a thickened paste. I then pour the paste into ice-cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, I transfer cubes into zip-lock bags and store in the freezer. One cube equals about a small handful of basil leaves. I keep a couple of extra ice cube trays just for this.
I do a lot of Indo-Pak cooking so I also make a spice paste that is integral to that cuisine called "green masala" (which is a combination of cilantro, green chiles, mint, and fresh ginger root) using this same method.
Hint: Get odors out of ice-cube trays by soaking in hot water with a bit of dishwashing liquid and a few drops of bleach. Rinse well. No more blackened, wasted basil!
By claudine from Clifton, NJ
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