Caprese salad, and pesto of course on my homemade baguettes, or even in some pasta.
Yum Yum. I also make pesto and put it in ice cube trays and after they freeze, jut pop them out and put in freezer bags. Works wonderfully. Thanks for letting me share some ideas. I love yours. My first year for growing herbs in my small yard.
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Love having them so close at hand. I made basil salt from the recipe that foodnetwork published a couple of years ago.
How To Grow
I made one batch and was so pleased, that I made lots and gave away at Christmas time. Just before serving fresh dried basil on top of you spaghetti sauce.
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The smell in the house is wonderful. I boiled some up, in hopes of using the water to rinse my laundry but it was reddish-brown in color and I was afraid that it would dye my sheets that color! I also have frozen basil in ice cube trays with olive oil instead of water, with a bit of chopped garlic……just add to soups, pasta or sauce…..
SOOOO yummy. I served it over a block of cream cheese, with raspberry jalapeno jam and stone wheat crackers!!! I have become a huge fan of pesto and this was my first year for growing basil. I am so happy that I came across your article on how to store and use this amazing plant. I have moved my plants indoor and hope to use them all winter long and take them back outside next spring. Thank you again for the wonderful idea. We want to hear from you!
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In addition to posting comments on articles and videos, you can also send your comments and questions to us on our contact page or at While we can't answer them all, we may use your question on our Today's Homeowner radio or TV show, or online at todayshomeowner. Name required. Avoid these problems by waiting to plant outside until the soil has warmed and by not overcrowding plants. Japanese beetles may skeletonize plant leaves; control pests by hand picking. Begin using the leaves as soon as the plant is large enough to spare some. Collect from the tops of the branches, cutting off several inches.
Handle basil delicately so as not to bruise and blacken the leaves. You can air-dry basil in small, loose bunches, but it keeps most flavorfully when frozen. To freeze basil, puree washed leaves in a blender or food processor, adding water as needed to make a thick but pourable puree. Pour the puree into ice-cube trays and freeze, then pop them out and store them in labeled freezer bags to use as needed in sauces, soups, and pesto.
Sweet Basil – Bonnie Plants
Pesto a creamy mixture of pureed basil, garlic, grated cheese, and olive oil will keep for a long time in the refrigerator with a layer of olive oil on top. This widely used herb enhances the flavor of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.
It is great in spaghetti sauce , pizza sauce , and ratatouille. Try it in stir-fries or in vegetable casserole dishes. Fresh basil leaves are delicious in salads.
Frozen basil has a stronger basil flavor than dried, but you've lost the texture. Use it in cooked dishes. Basil is traditionally planted alongside tomato plants. It's said they help each other grow, but it may just be for convenience in harvesting. However, basil does not need to remain in the vegetable or herb garden. Some of the shorter, purple varieties, like "Spicy Globe," actually make nice edging plants in the ornamental garden, if you don't have problems with animals eating them.
And any type of basil can easily be grown in containers. Give each plant at least a inch pot in a sunny site and it should do very well. Basil is a heat lover. Don't bother planting it until the daytime temperatures remain in the 70s and night temperatures are above 50 F. Unlike many Mediterranean herbs, basil likes a somewhat rich soil and doesn't like to be kept dry. Space plants about 10 inches apart. They will bush out.
Begin pinching the tops off once the plants reach about 6 inches in height. If you don't pinch or harvest, the plants will grow tall and gangly, with few leaves, and will bolt to seed. Basil is very sensitive to frost and will be one of the first plants to go in the fall. You can extend the season slightly by covering your plants with row covers when frost is threatened. Don't let the row cover touch the leaves.