I was up very early this morning with our new puppy George, he’s only been with us a few days and we are all getting used to the new routine. He’s a 4 month old Dandie Dinmont Terrier, a very rare Native British breed from the borders of Scotland. Although he doesn’t care about that, he is just wants to play and at 5am on a Sunday morning when everyone else is asleep that means to keep him quiet, I have to sit him on my knee, and cuddle him whilst I work on the assignment I’m doing for my Masters and try to stay awake!
Whilst waiting for the kettle to boil for yet another cup of coffee, I decided to deal with the basil mountain lurking in the fridge. It’s obviously the wrong time of year for home grown basil but this had come to me on Christmas Eve via the food club for Sustainability Morecambe that I help to run. We were lucky enough to be part of the ALDI food giveaway that they have done for the past two years. The basil was left over after all the group members had taken what they wanted.
Drying basil isn’t really the best way to preserve it. It looses alot of it’s delicate perfume and becomes a completely diffferent flavour. So as it’s been sitting in the fridge since Christmas Eve, waiting for me to do something with it, I thought it probably was going to either need chucking in the compost bin or freezing, probably the former but to my surprise it was in really good shape. I had 6 packets so that’s alot of basil!
I picked the leaves off the stalks and chopped up the resulting pile roughly. You want decent sized pieces rather than dust. The picture below is about halfway through.
Then in a bowl I mixed the now chopped leaves and some good quality olive oil together to make a paste. You know you’ve got enough oil in there when it makes that ‘slooshy’ sound as you stir it.
Final job was to pack it into an ice cube tray, it needs to be firmly packed down. Being the crazy household that we are, I could only find the skull shaped one but of course any shape one will do.
All you do then is stick it in the freezer and pop out a cube or two whenever you feel like adding a basil flavoured kick to your meals.
I should have dealt with it earlier, it only took about 5 minutes to do, the most-time consuming part was picking the leaves off.