I simply cannot imagine a summer without the scent of basil in my home. Honestly….there should be a perfume called “Fresh Basil”. I could grow every type of basil and incorporate it into any meal as well This year I have an abundance of basil, which to me is still not quite enough. So what do you do with basil in excess….Cut the branches of basil at the point where two leaves are coming out from the stem. This will cause better branching. Also if there are flower buds forming, pinch them off, enabling the plant to go into more leaf production. We want more leaves….they are the source of any basil lovers addiction. Check the undersides of the leaves to prevent getting extra protein or a buggy addition that you may not want.
Not ready to use right away??
Chop up the leaves, place them in a designated ice cub tray and fill with water. Great in iced tea, an Arnold Palmer or in ginger tea – a refreshing twist!Place the cut stems in a vase and they will take root. This makes for nice green, fresh smelling bouquets that just screams of summer! The rooting takes a little less than a week and is a great way to grow more plants!!Drying basil leaves can be done in a few creative ways, Using a screen, they take a few days to dry, unless you put them outside in the sun. Another source recommended laying them out on a cotton towel with adequate air circulation….a few days as well…I preferred drying my basil by the light of the sun, from my kitchen window. A length of my favorite ribbon and a curtain rod allowed me to string herbs for quick drying. It is also a great way to not forget you have herbs drying!!Another way to savor and get the most out of your leaves….make a herbal infused oil. Alternate the leaves, a pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt and the olive Oil of your choice – layer, cap and refrigerate. You can use the oil as a dip for assorted breads, the leaves in your pasta dishes and pesto sauces. An herbal MUST HAVE from the summer garden, that can be preserved and savored over the winter months!