Chow Town

August 3, 2014

Now is the time to make basil ice cubes

One way to preserve the freshness of basil for use after summer is to freeze them as ice cubes.

Chow Town

The daily dish on Kansas City's food and drink scene

My basil plant started to bolt weeks ago, but fortunately, it hasn’t totally gone to seed.

Still, it made me realize that I need to start preserving some fresh basil leaves while they’re large and lush.

Here is my favorite method for freezing basil: in ice cubes.

This works remarkably well when you want the fresh flavor of basil in you winter marinara sauce. All you have to do is drop the basil-laden cubes into the sauce as you’re cooking.

The process is simple:

1. Pick basil leaves, rinse

2. Chop into strips (optional)

3. Fill ice cube tray or any small plastic container with water, drop in basil, making sure the water covers the leaves. Otherwise, the pieces above water will get freezer burn.

4. Once frozen, pop out the ice basil blocks and transfer to resealable plastic freezer bag. Use as needed.

I know that making basil into pesto also freezes well. What are your favorite ways to preserve summer herbs?

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