I planted a lot of basil this year as it's my favourite herb to use in cooking. Every year I have the best of intentions to take it indoors but unfortunately I never follow through and a lot goes to waste at the end of the season.
So I've come up with a solution to use it all up and be frugal at the same time. Who doesn't want to save a few dollars?
Makes 1/2 cup
3 cups packed basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary.
Store and freeze the puree based on your needs. You can pour it into a freezer-proof container; pour it into a plastic zip-top bag, seal, and flatten for easier stacking; or portion into an ice cube tray for smaller servings that you can pop out individually.
Before using, thaw the puree at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
How to Use Basil Puree:
Add 1/2 cup basil puree, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, 2 tablespoons chopped toasted nuts, 2 garlic cloves, and a hefty pinch of salt to a food processor.
Pulse until well combined. Add olive oil as desired for a thinner consistency. (Makes 3/4 cup)
In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup basil puree, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, and 1 teaspoon crushed garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. (Makes 1/2 cup)
More Meal Ideas for Basil Puree:
Thin with olive oil and drizzle on eggs, fish, meats, or vegetables.
Mix with mayo and smear on sandwiches, burgers, bagels, or corn on the cob.
Combine with softened butter and spread on toast or savory pancakes.
Spread on homemade pizza or calzones.
Whip into mashed potatoes.
Stir into soups.
Use as a base or sauce for sautes or stir-fries.