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Thread: Basil for the single person :-)

  1. #1
    James Silverton Guest

    Default Basil for the single person :-)

    Have there been any developments in the problem of buying and using
    basil where one person is concerned. I can't think of any dish that I
    make for myself that uses a whole bunch of basil as sold in the stores
    and a bunch is often quite expensive, say $2.50. At that price I'd like
    to keep the basil for a couple of weeks but I am not interested in
    gardening in my kitchen (I don't have any suitable window-sills anyway.)
    Have there been any ideas to store basil without a great deal of fuss?
    --


    James Silverton, Potomac

    "Not": obvious change in "Reply To"

  2. #2
    Steve Freides Guest

    Default Re: Basil for the single person :-)

    James Silverton wrote:
    > Have there been any developments in the problem of buying and using
    > basil where one person is concerned. I can't think of any dish that I
    > make for myself that uses a whole bunch of basil as sold in the stores
    > and a bunch is often quite expensive, say $2.50. At that price I'd
    > like to keep the basil for a couple of weeks but I am not interested
    > in gardening in my kitchen (I don't have any suitable window-sills
    > anyway.) Have there been any ideas to store basil without a great
    > deal of fuss?


    We buy both garlic and basil frozen. It's a small package with
    individual little cubes of crushed herb - think ice cube tray and you'll
    have the idea. The brand is Dorot and it's carried in most of the local
    grocery stores. Works great, obviously not quite a flavorful as fresh
    but convenience does count for something. The basil is good enough that
    we make pesto from it.

    Then again, spending $2.50 and getting a few meals from it over the
    space of a week or so doesn't sound like a bad thing to me, either.

    -S-



  3. #3
    Pete C. Guest

    Default Re: Basil for the single person :-)


    James Silverton wrote:
    >
    > Have there been any developments in the problem of buying and using
    > basil where one person is concerned. I can't think of any dish that I
    > make for myself that uses a whole bunch of basil as sold in the stores
    > and a bunch is often quite expensive, say $2.50. At that price I'd like
    > to keep the basil for a couple of weeks but I am not interested in
    > gardening in my kitchen (I don't have any suitable window-sills anyway.)
    > Have there been any ideas to store basil without a great deal of fuss?
    > --


    Hang the extra, let it dry and then jar it.

  4. #4
    James Silverton Guest

    Default Re: Basil for the single person :-)

    On 3/5/2011 10:47 AM, Pete C. wrote:
    >
    > James Silverton wrote:
    >>
    >> Have there been any developments in the problem of buying and using
    >> basil where one person is concerned. I can't think of any dish that I
    >> make for myself that uses a whole bunch of basil as sold in the stores
    >> and a bunch is often quite expensive, say $2.50. At that price I'd like
    >> to keep the basil for a couple of weeks but I am not interested in
    >> gardening in my kitchen (I don't have any suitable window-sills anyway.)
    >> Have there been any ideas to store basil without a great deal of fuss?
    >> --

    >
    > Hang the extra, let it dry and then jar it.


    Thanks but my impression is that dried basil loses much of its flavor.
    You can even buy basil flakes but they don't seem to have much taste.

    --


    James Silverton, Potomac

    "Not": obvious change in "Reply To"

  5. #5
    Janet Wilder Guest

    Default Re: Basil for the single person :-)

    On 3/5/2011 9:30 AM, James Silverton wrote:
    > Have there been any developments in the problem of buying and using
    > basil where one person is concerned. I can't think of any dish that I
    > make for myself that uses a whole bunch of basil as sold in the stores
    > and a bunch is often quite expensive, say $2.50. At that price I'd like
    > to keep the basil for a couple of weeks but I am not interested in
    > gardening in my kitchen (I don't have any suitable window-sills anyway.)
    > Have there been any ideas to store basil without a great deal of fuss?



    Do you have a sunny windowsill? Grow your own and pick what you need.

    --
    Janet Wilder
    Way-the-heck-south Texas
    Spelling doesn't count. Cooking does.

  6. #6
    James Silverton Guest

    Default Re: Basil for the single person :-)

    On 3/5/2011 10:46 AM, Steve Freides wrote:
    > James Silverton wrote:
    >> Have there been any developments in the problem of buying and using
    >> basil where one person is concerned. I can't think of any dish that I
    >> make for myself that uses a whole bunch of basil as sold in the stores
    >> and a bunch is often quite expensive, say $2.50. At that price I'd
    >> like to keep the basil for a couple of weeks but I am not interested
    >> in gardening in my kitchen (I don't have any suitable window-sills
    >> anyway.) Have there been any ideas to store basil without a great
    >> deal of fuss?

    >
    > We buy both garlic and basil frozen. It's a small package with
    > individual little cubes of crushed herb - think ice cube tray and you'll
    > have the idea. The brand is Dorot and it's carried in most of the local
    > grocery stores. Works great, obviously not quite a flavorful as fresh
    > but convenience does count for something. The basil is good enough that
    > we make pesto from it.
    >
    > Then again, spending $2.50 and getting a few meals from it over the
    > space of a week or so doesn't sound like a bad thing to me, either.
    >
    > -S-
    >
    >

    Thanks! I know about the frozen basil and also store-bought tubed basil
    pesto. These are quite useful but are not the same thing as fresh basil
    either in taste or texture. I am unlikely to make more than one dish
    needing basil in the course of a week and a bunch of basil gets pretty
    wilted after a week in the fridge. I use more cilantro than basil and it
    only lasts a week but a bunch costs me 70 cents.

    --


    James Silverton, Potomac

    "Not": obvious change in "Reply To"

  7. #7
    James Silverton Guest

    Default Re: Basil for the single person :-)

    On 3/5/2011 11:07 AM, Janet Wilder wrote:
    > On 3/5/2011 9:30 AM, James Silverton wrote:
    >> Have there been any developments in the problem of buying and using
    >> basil where one person is concerned. I can't think of any dish that I
    >> make for myself that uses a whole bunch of basil as sold in the stores
    >> and a bunch is often quite expensive, say $2.50. At that price I'd like
    >> to keep the basil for a couple of weeks but I am not interested in
    >> gardening in my kitchen (I don't have any suitable window-sills anyway.)
    >> Have there been any ideas to store basil without a great deal of fuss?

    >
    >
    > Do you have a sunny windowsill? Grow your own and pick what you need.
    >

    As I said in my post, I'm not an indoor gardener even if I have a rubber
    plant, a philodendron and a sanseveria all about 40 years old! The
    rubber tree has been cloned about 8 times so far to reduce its size.

    --


    James Silverton, Potomac

    "Not": obvious change in "Reply To"

  8. #8
    ImStillMags Guest

    Default Re: Basil for the single person :-)

    On Mar 5, 8:18*am, James Silverton <jim.silver...@verizon.net> wrote:

    In grocery stores here there are basil plants sold with a little root
    ball still attached on the plant.
    I buy one and put it in a tall glass with a little bit of water and
    use the leaves as I need them. It lasts
    at least a week or more.




  9. #9
    George Shirley Guest

    Default Re: Basil for the single person :-)

    On 3/5/2011 9:30 AM, James Silverton wrote:
    > Have there been any developments in the problem of buying and using
    > basil where one person is concerned. I can't think of any dish that I
    > make for myself that uses a whole bunch of basil as sold in the stores
    > and a bunch is often quite expensive, say $2.50. At that price I'd like
    > to keep the basil for a couple of weeks but I am not interested in
    > gardening in my kitchen (I don't have any suitable window-sills anyway.)
    > Have there been any ideas to store basil without a great deal of fuss?


    For use in cooking I generally would run it through the food processor
    then put it in ice cube trays, freeze, then bag for later use when
    cooking a meal. You can also make pesto sans the cheese, freeze on a bun
    tray, then bag for later use on about anything.

  10. #10
    ImStillMags Guest

    Default Re: Basil for the single person :-)

    On Mar 5, 8:47*am, ImStillMags <sitara8...@gmail.com> wrote:
    > On Mar 5, 8:18*am, James Silverton <jim.silver...@verizon.net> wrote:
    >
    > In grocery stores here there are basil plants sold with a little root
    > ball still attached on the plant.
    > I buy one and put it in a tall glass with a little bit of water and
    > use the leaves as I need them. * It lasts
    > at least a week or more.


    oh...and In the stores where I shop that basil is not over where the
    herbs are sold. It's usually with the
    fresh greens and stuff. They have it in one of those black v shaped
    flower holders usually. You have to
    look around for it.

  11. #11
    Kalmia Guest

    Default Re: Basil for the single person :-)

    On Mar 5, 10:30*am, James Silverton <jim.silver...@verizon.net> wrote:
    > Have there been any developments in the problem of buying and using
    > basil where one person is concerned. I can't think of any dish that I
    > make for myself that uses a whole bunch of basil as sold in the stores
    > and a bunch is often quite expensive, say $2.50. At that price I'd like
    > to keep the basil for a couple of weeks but I am not interested in
    > gardening in my kitchen (I don't have any suitable window-sills anyway.)
    > Have there been any ideas to store basil without a great deal of fuss?
    > --
    >
    > James Silverton, Potomac
    >
    > "Not": obvious change in "Reply To"


    I would use whatever fresh I needed, then dry the rest in my
    dehydrator. Or make a honkin' big pot of tomato sauce, use the rest
    of the basil and freeze the sauce in small batches.

  12. #12
    Janet Guest

    Default Re: Basil for the single person :-)

    James Silverton wrote:
    > Have there been any developments in the problem of buying and using
    > basil where one person is concerned. I can't think of any dish that I
    > make for myself that uses a whole bunch of basil as sold in the stores
    > and a bunch is often quite expensive, say $2.50. At that price I'd
    > like to keep the basil for a couple of weeks but I am not interested
    > in gardening in my kitchen (I don't have any suitable window-sills
    > anyway.) Have there been any ideas to store basil without a great
    > deal of fuss?


    There's a brand called Olivia's Garden that comes with a little root ball.
    You can pluck leaves off for a few days without the whole thing dying.

    Another solution is to buy a lot of it when the price is more reasonable--or
    grow it if you have the right kind of spot--and make a sort of pesto base
    with just basil and olive oil, or just basil, olive oil, and garlic. I
    freeze it in an 8" pan, then turn it out and chop into cubes that I store in
    a bag in the freezer.



  13. #13
    [email protected] Guest

    Default Re: Basil for the single person :-)

    On Sat, 05 Mar 2011 11:10:35 -0500, James Silverton
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >... a bunch of basil gets pretty wilted after a week in the fridge.


    Are you keeping it in a glass partially filled with water?

    -- Larry

  14. #14
    pavane Guest

    Default Re: Basil for the single person :-)


    "James Silverton" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:iktktl$9nb$[email protected]..
    | Have there been any developments in the problem of buying and using
    | basil where one person is concerned. I can't think of any dish that I
    | make for myself that uses a whole bunch of basil as sold in the stores
    | and a bunch is often quite expensive, say $2.50. At that price I'd like
    | to keep the basil for a couple of weeks but I am not interested in
    | gardening in my kitchen (I don't have any suitable window-sills anyway.)
    | Have there been any ideas to store basil without a great deal of fuss?
    | --

    Given that you want it to stay in a fresh state, the following
    article is well-researched and works for me:
    http://tinyurl.com/2dysuwf
    good luck
    pavane



  15. #15
    James Silverton Guest

    Default Re: Basil for the single person :-)

    On 3/5/2011 12:30 PM, Janet wrote:
    > James Silverton wrote:
    >> Have there been any developments in the problem of buying and using
    >> basil where one person is concerned. I can't think of any dish that I
    >> make for myself that uses a whole bunch of basil as sold in the stores
    >> and a bunch is often quite expensive, say $2.50. At that price I'd
    >> like to keep the basil for a couple of weeks but I am not interested
    >> in gardening in my kitchen (I don't have any suitable window-sills
    >> anyway.) Have there been any ideas to store basil without a great
    >> deal of fuss?

    >
    > There's a brand called Olivia's Garden that comes with a little root ball.
    > You can pluck leaves off for a few days without the whole thing dying.
    >
    > Another solution is to buy a lot of it when the price is more reasonable--or
    > grow it if you have the right kind of spot--and make a sort of pesto base
    > with just basil and olive oil, or just basil, olive oil, and garlic. I
    > freeze it in an 8" pan, then turn it out and chop into cubes that I store in
    > a bag in the freezer.
    >
    >

    Thanks! Taste and texture are different things. For example, when making
    Thai food I only add the basil a few minutes before serving. To me, if
    you cook basil for a long time, it might as well be cooked spinach,
    which I don't like either.

    --


    James Silverton, Potomac

    "Not": obvious change in "Reply To"

  16. #16
    jmcquown Guest

    Default Re: Basil for the single person :-)


    "James Silverton" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:iktktl$9nb$[email protected]..
    > Have there been any developments in the problem of buying and using basil
    > where one person is concerned. I can't think of any dish that I make for
    > myself that uses a whole bunch of basil as sold in the stores and a bunch
    > is often quite expensive, say $2.50. At that price I'd like to keep the
    > basil for a couple of weeks but I am not interested in gardening in my
    > kitchen (I don't have any suitable window-sills anyway.) Have there been
    > any ideas to store basil without a great deal of fuss?
    > --
    >
    >
    > James Silverton, Potomac
    >


    Herbs freeze just fine. Portion it out and freeze it. It won't look as
    pretty but you can store it for a long time that way.

    Jill


  17. #17
    James Silverton Guest

    Default Re: Basil for the single person :-)

    On 3/5/2011 12:34 PM, [email protected] wrote:
    > On Sat, 05 Mar 2011 11:10:35 -0500, James Silverton
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> ... a bunch of basil gets pretty wilted after a week in the fridge.

    >
    > Are you keeping it in a glass partially filled with water?
    >
    > -- Larry


    That's getting into kitchen gardening for me :-) I like to minimize the
    number of jars and bottles on the bench since they breed like rabbits. I
    just noticed that I had three bottles of olive oil! I've seen rather
    overpriced plastic containers with a water supply that I may have to
    investigate.

    Pavane agrees with you, http://tinyurl.com/2dysuwf
    basil tends to blacken in the fridge.




    --


    James Silverton, Potomac

    "Not": obvious change in "Reply To"

  18. #18
    Silvar Beitel Guest

    Default Re: Basil for the single person :-)

    On Mar 5, 10:30 am, James Silverton <jim.silver...@verizon.net> wrote:
    > Have there been any developments in the problem of buying and using
    > basil where one person is concerned. I can't think of any dish that I
    > make for myself that uses a whole bunch of basil as sold in the stores
    > and a bunch is often quite expensive, say $2.50. At that price I'd like
    > to keep the basil for a couple of weeks but I am not interested in
    > gardening in my kitchen (I don't have any suitable window-sills anyway.)
    > Have there been any ideas to store basil without a great deal of fuss?


    The "stick it a glass of water" method is low fuss as mentioned.
    Picking off the leaves and putting them in a baggie, squeezing out the
    air, and freezing them keeps them pretty green and tasty, even if the
    texture is wilted when thawed out. Pesto is good, too, of course.
    Drying isn't as interesting - quite a bit of flavor is lost IMO.

    But what I really want to address is the "using" basil part of your
    initial question.

    One of our favorite meals is a variation on salad Nicoise: Layers of
    tomato slices, cooked (and dressed) ziti or penne, green beans, and
    fresh basil leaves, with tuna (canned or fresh seared), anchovies,
    capers, hardboiled egg slices, Nicoise olives, of course, and a lemony
    garlicky anchovy vinaigrette over all. Uses up a *lot* of fresh
    basil!

    You can also use up a lot by lining (fresh) spring roll wrappers with
    them before rolling up the (presumably Thai) filling in them.

    Occasionally I'll make a "white" grilled-chicken (or whatever you
    prefer) pizza with a healthy layer of basil leaves between the crust
    and the topping(s). Uses up a fair amount of basil and is easier than
    making pesto.

    --
    Silvar Beitel
    (basil lover and very occasional poster)

  19. #19
    Catmandy (Sheryl) Guest

    Default Re: Basil for the single person :-)

    On Mar 5, 11:04*am, James Silverton <jim.silver...@verizon.net> wrote:
    > On 3/5/2011 10:47 AM, Pete C. wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    > > James Silverton wrote:

    >
    > >> Have there been any developments in the problem of buying and using
    > >> basil where one person is concerned. I can't think of any dish that I
    > >> make for myself that uses a whole bunch of basil as sold in the stores
    > >> and a bunch is often quite expensive, say $2.50. At that price I'd like
    > >> to keep the basil for a couple of weeks but I am not interested in
    > >> gardening in my kitchen (I don't have any suitable window-sills anyway..)
    > >> Have there been any ideas to store basil without a great deal of fuss?
    > >> --

    >
    > > Hang the extra, let it dry and then jar it.

    >
    > Thanks but my impression is that dried basil loses much of its flavor.
    > You can even buy basil flakes but they don't seem to have much taste.
    >
    > --
    >
    > James Silverton, Potomac
    >
    > "Not": obvious change in "Reply To"


    Buy it dried from Penzeys. LOTS of flavor, buy the small jar and
    you'll be fine. keep it in a drawer away from a heat source and it
    will last you a year for under $2. I realized I had never actually
    tasted dried basil (or many other herbs, for that matter) until I
    started buying from Penzeys. Also, basil does not hold up to long
    cooking. Add it shortly before serving and you won't lose the flavor.
    That is true of fresh and dried.

    There is a Penzeys in Rockville MD and Falls Church VA. If they are
    not near you, you can order online. Of course you'll pay for shipping
    but you'd pay for gas to get there, too. Shipping costs for a $20
    order will run you less than the current price of 2 gallons of gas!!

    www.penzeys.com

    No longer an employee of Penzeys, but a satisfied customer for 15
    years.

  20. #20
    Catmandy (Sheryl) Guest

    Default Re: Basil for the single person :-)

    On Mar 5, 12:38*pm, James Silverton <jim.silver...@verizon.net> wrote:
    > On 3/5/2011 12:30 PM, Janet wrote:
    >
    > > James Silverton wrote:
    > >> Have there been any developments in the problem of buying and using
    > >> basil where one person is concerned. I can't think of any dish that I
    > >> make for myself that uses a whole bunch of basil as sold in the stores
    > >> and a bunch is often quite expensive, say $2.50. At that price I'd
    > >> like to keep the basil for a couple of weeks but I am not interested
    > >> in gardening in my kitchen (I don't have any suitable window-sills
    > >> anyway.) Have there been any ideas to store basil without a great
    > >> deal of fuss?

    >
    > > There's a brand called Olivia's Garden that comes with a little root ball.
    > > You can pluck leaves off for a few days without the whole thing dying.

    >
    > > Another solution is to buy a lot of it when the price is more reasonable--or
    > > grow it if you have the right kind of spot--and make a sort of pesto base
    > > with just basil and olive oil, or just basil, olive oil, and garlic. I
    > > freeze it in an 8" pan, then turn it out and chop into cubes that I store in
    > > a bag in the freezer.

    >
    > Thanks! Taste and texture are different things. For example, when making
    > Thai food I only add the basil a few minutes before serving. To me, if
    > you cook basil for a long time, it might as well be cooked spinach,
    > which I don't like either.
    >
    > --
    >
    > James Silverton, Potomac
    >
    > "Not": obvious change in "Reply To"


    It's not just you: basil does not hold up to long cooking. It should
    be added at the end of cooking. Basil is a top note. It doesn't last
    long enough to be anything but.

    I highly recommend dried herbs from Penzeys. They will last a year if
    stored away from heat and light and their flavors are bright and true.
    Much better than most of the other dried herbs available in the
    supermarket, and as long as you stick to their individual herbs, much
    less expensive. I use their dried herbs almost exclusively. The only
    time I buy fresh herbs, it's dill or parsley, and it's only when I
    know will be able to use the entire bunch (such as when making chicken
    stock).

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