The Blessed Hearth

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Preserving the herb Basil...

How is everyone this evening?  I thought I should try to post a bit more often if I can as I haven't done very well this summer.
I went up to Salisbury yesterday to a market  called The Green Pig... I love farm markets and this one has all kinds of goodies.. Lots of veggies, of course but crafts, soaps and a few vintage finds, too..
Since I was passing by the exit  I thought I should stop and see what they had.. I was so glad I did as they had fresh herbs... I am trying to grow them here but we were late getting the garden in as we were working on the shop so I only have enough for salves and daily meals...
I was so happy to find big bags of fresh basil and huge bunches of fresh dill...
Today, I preserved the basil....
I heard about this way of preserving herbs from a French lady from northern N. B, who happened to stop  by my shop this summer.  I looked it up on google and I guess it is a popular method especially in Quebec.. The lady explained that her mom and grandma used to do this and that it is delicious..  I am giving it a try..
First, you wash your herbs and pat them dry with paper towels.   It  doesn't need to be basil ... Any herb will do...lol
Then take the leaves off of the stems
Find yourself a nice bottle and sterilize it... Then pour in a good layer of kosher or coarse or sea salt on the bottom,  Layer your herbs and then a thin layer of salt just to cover the leaves.. You keep doing this and pressing it all down until you get to the top.. Put another thick layer of salt and put on your cover..
One site that I read said to keep this in the fridge.... So I am..
She said it is delicious to put a spoon or less into your soups, tomato sauces, or over your fish...
After awhile the salt takes on the flavor of the herbs...Sounds good to me although, I expect some people don't like to use salt...

Then, of course I have to do my Pesto....
So here you do the same things... wash, dry and take the leaves off the stem.. For this much basil I added 4 cloves of garlic... I like more but I want Terry to like it, too....lol...
Just place your leaves and garlic and pine nuts if you like... Some people will put any kind of nuts ....
I personally don't like to put the pine nuts in until later but it is up to you...
Anyway, just put your leaves and garlic into a food processor, blender or chopper thing..
I love lemon juice... it keeps it green and we love the flavour...I just add 1 lemon juiced for this amount of basil.. oh, and a pinch of kosher salt. (4 cups of basil) and enough olive oil to blend it well.
Then I put it in ice-cibe trays and freeze...
If you need an accurate amounts for your recipe you could google one.. I just add and blend.. Sorry..
When they are frozen I then take them out and bag them  in separate baggies for the winter...
We use pesto on sandwiches, especially tomato... pizzas, add to tomato sauces and of course...
|This...
Pasta....just add parmesan and more lemon juice if like..
If you girls know of anything that tastes any better than this... Please let me know  for I would dearly love to try it....LOL..
Oh, Lynn if you are reading this I am so sorry you wern't her to try it....LOL...

Well, that is all for tonight... I am trying to go to bed early for the next few weeks as I need to work towards getting ready for my Fall Flavors Open House...

 Hope you are making out all right with getting your children out to school each day..
Please try to make time to say a wee word of prayer with them before they step out into this big wide world....
Love ya..
Faye...

5 comments:

  1. I just had a quick question about the salt... what do you do with it when you want the herbs? Dump it down the sink?

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  2. Hi Linsay... It is an herbal salt so you use all of it. After you have it for awhile the salt takes on the taste of the basil and you just spoon out a bit and use on your sauces,soupsm fish, or whatever...
    ok? Perhaps you guys don't use salt much, though. Just take a bit and use it...

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  3. Ha ha, Going to Salisbury to me is going to see stones :-) A load of one's that are slightly wonky.... so pleased to have found someone else who loves the smell and taste of basil :-) x x x

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  4. The pasta looks delicious with your homemade pesto. I'd like to jump right through my screen and try some. :)
    Thanks for the recipes.
    Hugs~ Birgit

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