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Epicurean Kentuckian: For the love of basil

Some herbs, fruits and vegetables have devotees who prefer them frozen, especially when they are used in recipes. Frozen basil can actually be as good - and better in terms of preparation time - than fresh. Barbara Armitage gives a simple technique that even some seasoned home chef's will likely find novel.
Click on headline for complete recipe with Barbara Armitage photo(s)

By Barbara Armitage, Tucker's Station Farms
and Saturday Farmers Market on the Square Coordinator

After last week's frost we are all desperately clinging to the last remnants of summer flavor.

We have all become accustomed to an abundant supply of fresh herbs available at the Farmer's Market on the Square with basil being my personal favorite. The intense flavor and aroma of fresh basil is incomparable to the flavor of its dried version.

Fret not my fellow foodies, there is a way to preserve that fresh summer taste of basil. Simply freeze it.

Freezing Basil
Choose only fresh basil leaves. Rinse the leaves carefully in clean cool water and shake gently to remove as much water as possible. Lay the leaves out on clean kitchen towels to dry. Once the leaves are dry loosely pack them in plastic bags and freeze at least 24 hours.

Working quickly remove the bags of frozen basil from the freezer and open slightly to vent. Place the bags of basil on the counter and with the palm of your hand "smash it". This will break the leaves eliminating the need to chop them later for recipes. It also reduces the space necessary for storage by about 75%. Quickly return the bags of basil to the freezer until you need them for cooking. Basil will last the winter in your freezer - until you can grow your own again or the Farmer's Market on the Square returns for another season.
In Italy basil is considered the herb of love and no wonder when you consider the delicious dishes that Italian cooks are famous for. After all, Italian women will tell you that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

The Farmer's Market on the Square is open every Tuesday from 4:30pm-7pmCT and every Saturday from 8am-1pmCT until the end of October, at the Adair Annex Parking Lot, 424 Public Square, Columbia, KY. BARBARA. PS - Today's, Saturday's 11 Oct 2014 Farmers Market will feature longer hours.

This story was posted on 2014-10-11 04:31:53
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Epicurean Kentuckian: Frozen Basil offers preparation advantage

2014-10-11 - Tuckers Station Farm, 1535 Bull Run Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Barbara Armitage.
While nothing is ever a good as fresh - freezing basil
can help get you through the winter. And, in preparing basil flavored dishes, frozen basil offers some preparation advantages over fresh. - BARBARA ARMITAGE. (PS -The Farmers Market on the Square wishes to thank local restaurants for use of Adair County products, including basil from Lonely Acres Farm in soup recipes.)

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