Preserving Basil: 3 Inspiring Ideas

| 9/11/2013 12:04:00 PM

The temperatures in southwestern Pennsylvania have started to cool down and harvesting herbs has begun in earnest. I wrote about freezing, drying, storing, preserving and bringing in your herbs for The Herb Companion magazine in 2011. Our esteem editor of Mother Earth Living magazine, Jessica Kellner, beat me to the basil punch with her blog post "3 Favorite Ways to Use Extra Basil." I hope to help you with some ideas that are easy and great ways to preserve your basil.

1. Preserving Basil Idea: Basil Jelly

Basil has been a standout herb in my garden this season and maybe in yours as well! However, it doesn't like temperatures in the 40s, so I want to get a jump start on the preserving process. I love to make jelly and particularly love cinnamon basil and use Renee Shepherd’s  Basil Jelly recipe, which I shared in an earlier post.

Cinnamon Basil Plant

My cinnamon basil plant is ready to be harvested for a delicious jelly!

Basil Jelly Recipes

Yum! My Lemon Basil Jelly and Cinnamon Basil Jelly is ready for tasting.

I also make a Spicy Basil Apple Jelly with sweet basil, which I shared with my blog readers on Lemon Verbena Lady’s Herb Garden in September 2012. Last year, I processed basil much later than this year because the weather was warmer .

Sweet Basil Plant

My sweet basil plant was a standout in my herb garden.

2. Preserving Basil Idea: Pesto Sauce

I also love making pesto sauce with my harvested basil, especially because I can’t eat much tomato sauce any more. My favorite recipe for Traditional Pesto Sauce is from Lombardo & Būi and Cheap Thrills Cuisine in 1993. Here is their recipe: