There is nothing quite like fresh basil. Each year, I grow enough to cover Rhode Island. To help preserve that fresh from the garden taste, I preserve the basil by freezing it in olive oil and packing it into ice cube trays.
- Pick your basil leaves and submerge them in a large bowl filled with cold water. Swish them around vigorously to remove any dirt.
- Give them a quick whirl in a salad spinner or spread onto a kitchen towel and blot dry.
- Pack the leaves in a food processor; while the food processor is going add 2-3 Tbsp of olive oil through the food tube. Or you can finely chop the basil by hand, transfer to a bowl and add the olive oil.
- Process until you have the consistency you like. I process mine to a medium fine paste.
- Transfer the basil into ice cube trays, firmly packing each ice cube compartment 3/4 full.
- Fill the remaining space with olive oil.
- Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 24 hours.
- When the cubes are firmly frozen, you can transfer them into a freezer bag for easy storage. Work quickly because the cubes will begin to melt from the heat of your hands.
- DO NOT re-use the trays for ice cubes. You will have basil flavored ice (unless that’s what you’re going for).
- Soak the food processor container and blade in warm water with baking soda to remove any basil flavor.