Caution: Basil can be very delicate and persnickety to store!
Here’s some info on basil I’ve pulled, source: From Asparagus to Zucchini, A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce.
“Basil is most commonly known for its primary role in tomato sauces, pesto, and salad dressings…. Basil, like tomatoes, thrives in the heat of the summer. Remove basil leaves from stem before usiing. Wash very gently. Toss fresh whole basil leaves into green salads and chopped into pasta or rice dishes. Top slices of tomato with chopped fresh basil leaves, olive oil, and a little salt and pepper. Storage: Fresh basil deteriorates quickly. Use ASAP. For short-term storage, wrap in a lightly damp towel and refrigerate. Do not wash prior to refrigeration. Basil can be easily dried.”
1/2 pound of basil makes about 2 batches (SEE RECIPE BELOW) of pesto. Pesto is great to freeze now for winter use. One great tip is to make your pesto, put it in ice cube trays and freeze, then remove from the trays and keep frozen in quart bags. Pull ice cubes of pesto as needed.
Presto Pesto!2 large cloves garlic 3 firmly packed cups fresh basil leaves 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (can skip until eaten) 1 cup olive oil ½ cup pine nuts (can substitute walnuts, cheaper, still very tastey!) Put garlic in food processor or blender and grind. Add all other ingredients and blend until basil leaves and nuts are in small pieces.