Basil, Mad Dash & Stash

Genovese Basil
Ocimum basilicum ‘Genovese Gigante’

When farmer friends have become incommunicado, breath is visible in the evenings and it’s Oct. 1…you know it’s, now-or-never, harvesting “GO TIME”.

One of the most cold sensitive herbs is basil. After two weeks of tucking in our plants snuggly under their covers, I finally beat Mother Nature to to the punch and was able to harvest some of our crop before a killing frost. All of this culinary fun should really start in August, but there is so much end-of-summer fun to be had and September is all about back-to-school insanity.

This year I was determined to harvest the basil and actually do something with it before it was too late. So, it was a late night pesto party in our kitchen one day this week!

Some of our leafy friends ended up whirling and twirling around in the food processor.

Pesto ingredients mingling in the food processor.
(Why sprouts? Why not! They’re high in energy, enzymes and nutrients and no one will ever know they’re there.) 

Then, they chilled out in ice cube trays before being bagged and labeled.

 Freeze pesto in ice-cube trays before placing the cubes in labeled freezer bags.
This allows for more flexibility when using it in recipes throughout the winter. 

While others attended the hot, all-night RAVE in the dehydrator.

Genovese basil hangin’ out in the heat of the dehydrator.
115* for 6-8 hours.

Then they were packed into a jar where they patiently await the next culinary extravaganza!

Dried Genovese basil stored in a recycled, clean and dry, tomato sauce jar.
Our harvesting and storing fun has just begun. With many more plant-based shindig possibilities, it’s going to be a LONG weekend! This party-girl might be a bit hung-over come Monday.