tons of Thai basil!
  Re: (...)
Seriously, I have 3 small shrubs of it in my neglected herb garden. There's only so much fresh we can eat, and I was wondering if anyone has tried to preserve it. I tried to freeze, but it turned black and the flavor was weak. How about making an infused oil? Or maybe a pesto-like thing with lime juice, oil, and peanuts??

Any ideas?

my cooking adventures
  Re: tons of Thai basil! by foodfiend (Seriously, I have 3 ...)
Uhh, no help here. I just realized last weekend that the strange-looking basil plant I planted last spring is, in fact, Thai basil....I need to figure out what to do with it, too!
  Re: Re: tons of Thai basil! by karyn (Uhh, no help here. I...)
Thanks for the welcome back (on the other thread), karyn.

We adore Thai food, and rice noodles and veggies with chopped peanuts and Thai basil are on the menu for lunch at least twice a week in the summer/ early fall. But that (and other dishes like Thai curry chicken and marinated Thai vegetable salad) cannot use up my basil-shrubs! Unfortunately, this herb seems to have most of it's "punch" when fresh.

my cooking adventures
  Re: Re: tons of Thai basil! by foodfiend (Thanks for the welco...)
Vicci - I usually make a couple of large batches of pesto (using different nuts - cashews, pistachios, walnuts, whatever) and freeze in small 6 or 8 oz containers.

Here's a list I made to use when the basil is going crazy - I know you want to preserve it, buy maybe 1 or 2 ideas for some of your fresh, while you have it.

Uses for Pesto:
I like to use a thick, nutty pesto to crust proteins; rack of lamb, fish. filets, even soft shell
" use it to make croutons
" add more oil and vinegar and make a salad dressing
" great for adding to practically any protein ... at least that's what I enjoy . make into an herbed butter
add to mashed potatoes
· spread for a ham sandwich . 'sauce' for a pizza
. brush on grilling meats/poultry (as someone mentioned)
. add a little to a savory cookie dough (like pignoli cookies)
" combine with soft butter for a flavored butter (great to top a steak with)
top grilled com
, mix with goat cheese for a bruschetta topping
smear on a tortilla for a quesadilla
mix with yolks for deviled eggs
, So many uses you wil not be able to count them all.
· Mix with cream cheese for your bagel or for a quesadilla, mix it into mayonnaise for all
your savory sandwiches, mix it into potato salad ,pasta salad, tuna salad. chicken salad. egg
salad,ham salad and all other salads you normally mixed with mayonnaise(Except the
ones containing fruits).
Adding into your ranch dressing for a pesto-dressing to be used as a salad dressing or as a
dipping sauce for crudités, to top asparagus or artichokes
Stir pesto into your alfredo sauce for your pastas or put it on hot broccoli, cauliflower or
and again on asparagus. The same sauce mixed with fresh mushrooms and served on toast
or as a stuffed tomato makes a great appetizer. Also great on corned beef and cabbage for
St.Partrick's day
Improve your potato soups,tomato soups, white bean soups,all your clam chowders any
fish chowder including salmon chowders all seafood bisques along with minestrone soup
and a just about all vegetable soups by adding pesto.
Make a better tasting marinara sauce with pesto !
Stir pesto into your meat-loaf mix, or put it into your stuffing for stuffed peppers and
stuffed cabbage.
Mix your extra pesto into ricotta cheese and/or béchamel for your lasagna.

Basil is both a blessing and a curse 'cause we all hate to waste it!
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: tons of Thai basil! by cjs (Vicci - I usually ma...)
Wow, Jean, thanks for the suggestions! I still have 2 small jars of the Italian basil pesto in the freezer and will put one in the fridge to thaw just to try some of these.

The Thai basil has a quite unique flavor, almost like licorice (?!), so I'll have to do some experimenting.

my cooking adventures
  Re: Re: tons of Thai basil! by foodfiend (Wow, Jean, thanks fo...)
By the way, have you checked out the preserving of basil in the top thread here??
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: tons of Thai basil! by cjs (By the way, have you...)
I know most of you are cilantro lovers, but I'm not, so I often use Thai basil in recipes calling for cilantro. It sounds crazy but it works. I've not tried to preserve it, but should because we've got tons of it (along with everything else). Steve planted it with his tomatoes this year because they are supposed to help each other.

I would also suggest making a couple of healthy cuttings and letting it root inside for the winter.

Have you tried freezing the leaves on a towel on a sheet pan and then foodsavering them? Not as potent as fresh but better than nothing.

PS don't wash them first, you want them really dry.

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