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blue_dolphin

Saving/Using Basil: Purple, Thai & Holy

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I'm looking for suggestions for saving or using up this bounty of purple basil, holy basil and Thai basil.

 

A friend asked me yesterday if I needed some basil and I said, "Sure, I can make some pesto to freeze." I was expecting a few clippings of sweet basil.  

Here's what she brought - big bunches of purple, holy and Thai basil:

IMG_1515.thumb.jpeg.a820014aafc01f88c4ff05c57e0b76bc.jpeg

 

 I figure I can go ahead and make purple pesto with the purple basil but what should I do with the Thai and holy basils?  I've only used Thai basil a few times and have never used holy basil and would love ideas for using them.  Can I purée them in oil and freeze in a zip-lock as I've done with sweet basil?  If so should I blanch the leaves first?   

 

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What an abundance!  I love basil.  Ed is more of an oregano kind of person.  Sorry.  No ideas past what you suggest.

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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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thai basil doesn't freeze well - it's usually used just torn in shreds for a really fresh flavor - but making a pesto out of it kind of defeats the purpose...  Holy basil is usually cooked (not eaten raw or tossed in at the end), so maybe that would tolerate freezing better?

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23 minutes ago, KennethT said:

thai basil doesn't freeze well - it's usually used just torn in shreds for a really fresh flavor - but making a pesto out of it kind of defeats the purpose...  Holy basil is usually cooked (not eaten raw or tossed in at the end), so maybe that would tolerate freezing better?

 

Any favorite recipes that you think really showcase either of those?

 

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I made a basil simple syrup for sweetening drinks.   I don't recall what kind of basil is was.   Goes really good in lemonade.

 

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4 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

Any favorite recipes that you think really showcase either of those?

 

I don't use holy basil much (because it's hard for me to get!!!)... but thai basil is classic in red curry.  Some people will even say that it's not red curry without thai basil thrown in at the end.  Thai basil is also a staple in many stir fries and noodle dishes...

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12 minutes ago, lemniscate said:

I made a basil simple syrup for sweetening drinks.   I don't recall what kind of basil is was.   Goes really good in lemonade.

 

 

Good idea! I'm going to make a bit of simple syrup with both the Thai and holy basil.  At least enough to make a few popsicles from each.  I've done peach with basil and it was very good.  Or I could go in a lime-ginger-basil direction.  

 

4 minutes ago, KennethT said:

I don't use holy basil much (because it's hard for me to get!!!)... but thai basil is classic in red curry.  Some people will even say that it's not red curry without thai basil thrown in at the end.  Thai basil is also a staple in many stir fries and noodle dishes...

Thanks!  That helps me narrow down my search.  I'm putting some stems into water so hopefully they'll keep for a few days. 

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7 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

Thanks!  That helps me narrow down my search.  I'm putting some stems into water so hopefully they'll keep for a few days. 

When I used to grow thai basil and I trimmed it, I would wrap the bunch on the stems in a dry paper towel and then wrap in a plastic bag and squish all the air out - it would keep in the crisper drawer in the fridge for weeks!  Just make sure the leaves are very dry.

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Make a syrup out of the thai basil and use it in cocktails.  It plays very nicely with strawberry syrup and gin. 

 

The way I do it is make a simple syrup in a sauce pan, and throw as many leaves as will wilt down in the hot syrup into the pot.  Mash the leaves around a bit.  Let it cool.  Strain it. Bottle it and keep it in the fridge. 

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Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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It's a pity your friend didn't give you plants rather than cuttings. You could try planting cuttings, but whether they will survive is unsure. I've never had much luck with basil cuttings. My plants are still doing well in November, but it's warm here. They do want to flower, but I remove any flowers as soon as they appear.

 

1506804180_basil2019.thumb.jpg.0fe91174c94bb143ec37a819a0120bf4.jpg

 

That is one of four plants on the balcony.

 

I do have two plants which I have allowed to flower as I want the seeds for next year.

 

As to your immediate needs, I'd be eating a lot of Thai or Vietnamese food and making lots of pesto or the French version without pine nuts, pistou. Both freeze well.

 


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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You can root thai basil as long as the stem has a node.  Use the sharpest knife you have, clean it with alcohol first, then cut quick and immediate dunk the stem into water - you don't want a chance for air to get in there.  If you have access to cloning gel or powder (it's a hormone that encourages rooting) that will make your endeavor even more likely.

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14 hours ago, KennethT said:

You can root thai basil as long as the stem has a node.  Use the sharpest knife you have, clean it with alcohol first, then cut quick and immediate dunk the stem into water - you don't want a chance for air to get in there.  If you have access to cloning gel or powder (it's a hormone that encourages rooting) that will make your endeavor even more likely.

 

I have actually rooted basil from leftover basil from a Vietnamese restaurant. Maybe I was just lucky, but I just wrapped it in a napkin, took it home and stuck it in a glass of water. Roots started growing within a couple of days. I don't know what kind of basil -- whatever kind gets served with phô.

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13 hours ago, SusieQ said:

 

I have actually rooted basil from leftover basil from a Vietnamese restaurant. Maybe I was just lucky, but I just wrapped it in a napkin, took it home and stuck it in a glass of water. Roots started growing within a couple of days. I don't know what kind of basil -- whatever kind gets served with phô.

 

The problem with water rooting is that the roots don't against anything and can lead to a wimpy plan

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20 minutes ago, heidih said:

 

The problem with water rooting is that the roots don't against anything and can lead to a wimpy plan

You can root in water and immediately transplant into a media just after....  or, you can root in a cube of rockwool - I do this all the time, but I don't recommend it to most people because of availability - it's more of a specialty thing, but it works great.  I think the biggest trick to rooting cuttings is to get rid of most of the leaves, leaving only a couple on the stem, keeping light stress low, and keeping the cutting in high humidity environment so it doesn't try to respire.  You don't want to stress the cutting before it can take in water and nutrient - until that time, it's basically subsisting on its reserves in the stem.

 

But stuff like basil usually roots so fast and easy, if you plunk it in a glass of water, you could see roots emerge by the next day - at which time you can put it in media, and the plant turns out fine.


Edited by KennethT (log)

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15 hours ago, SusieQ said:

 

I have actually rooted basil from leftover basil from a Vietnamese restaurant. Maybe I was just lucky, but I just wrapped it in a napkin, took it home and stuck it in a glass of water. Roots started growing within a couple of days. I don't know what kind of basil -- whatever kind gets served with phô.

Rachael Ray is fond of telling her TV audience that Basil should be treated like cut flowers. It doesn't like the refrigerator (where it turns black). Put it in a glass of water and cover loosely with a plastic bag and leave it on your kitchen counter. Then cut off what you need as you need it for your cooking. Change the water every couple of days and it should last quite some time.  I told my SIL this tip when she mentioned her Basil always going black in the fridge. She was thrilled and texted me a picture of her thriving Basil "bouquet" on her counter. 

basil.thumb.jpg.f6a11647d0609eaab5cf14b6e7218c4d.jpg

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On 11/3/2019 at 9:32 PM, KennethT said:

You can root thai basil as long as the stem has a node.  Use the sharpest knife you have, clean it with alcohol first, then cut quick and immediate dunk the stem into water - you don't want a chance for air to get in there.

 

I have done this regularly often with mint and other herbs, but never had much success with basil. Anyway, not a problem. I now have access to basil seeds.

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