Kevin and I have a massive basil plant in the front yard. When we planted it back in June, I was just hoping to keep it alive since North Carolina was already in the middle of a super hot summer. Apparently, heat and sunshine is what that bad boy craves. What started out as two stalks has turned into five stalks, and they have grown to at least two feet tall.
I noticed last week that it was outpacing us using it up, and our tendency to cook Mexican themed dishes wasn’t helping. Too bad our cilantro plant didn’t take notes from Mr. Basil right down the row. Anyway…I found two helpful uses for our basil plant before the caterpillars ate it all up.
First off, I chopped off a few leaves and decided to throw them in a drink. I used a cup of Simply Lemonade, a shot of tequila, and two basil leaves that I rubbed in my hands to warm up. It was a refreshing little treat after being in the sunshine for a little bit harvesting the leaves.
Then, I rinsed off the remaining basil leaves and laid them out to dry off. The key to successful harvesting is to cut right above the next section of leaves in a V-pattern.
After the basil leaves were dry, I chopped them up. I got out a cheap-o plastic ice cube tray. I poured enough olive oil in each slot to cover the bottom then I stuffed each compartment full of chopped basil leaves. Then I topped it all off with a little more oil. I intend to use these basil cubes during the winter as starters for tomato soup and pasta sauce. Bon Appetit!