I'm not even sure how many basil transplants I planted last spring--at least 11. Convinced tomatoes would be a pain, I was determined to successfully grow lots of basil. However, now I needed raised-bed room for lettuce and chard seeds, so yesterday I harvested the basil from nine plants, yanked those plants out, and added them to a compost pile.
|former basil bed before weeding/prepping for lettuce seeds|
|former basil bed after (today): lettuces, kale, and chard|
I washed all the basil and began freezing it three different ways. Last year, we rolled the leaves and stuffed them into ice cube trays, added water, froze them, then saved the basil ice cubes in freezer bags so we could reclaim our ice cube trays.
We also tried stuffing whole leaves in a freezer bag and filling the bag with water (squeezing out the air bubbles) before freezing. Both methods worked okay for winter cooking but sometimes contributed too much water, especially to sauces.
This time around, we did both previous methods but also tried freezing little chiffonades in the ice cube trays. I'm not sure if cutting the basil before freezing will make it bitter in the end, but I'm willing to experiment.
|The whole-leaf freezing seems to have worked, too.|