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22

If you pinch off the basil flowers as they start to grow, the plant will produce more leaves. (Yes, this is a horticultural answer, but it will help you make more yummy dishes with the leaves.)


14

From StillTasty. This site has done wonders with helping us extend the life of our fresh herbs To store fresh basil: (1)Trim the ends and place basil in a glass containing about one inch of water; (2) Cover with a loose-fitting plastic bag and leave at room temperature; (3) Replace water when it gets cloudy. Refrigeration of fresh basil is not ...


13

I believe that the best indicator of freshness is the colour of the leaves. Once they turn from green to brown, it is all over for the pesto. To boost the 'shelf-life' of the pesto in the fridge, make sure that it is completely covered with olive oil before sealing the container.


11

People generally wash fruit and vegetables (organic or not) to remove surface contamination ,and the bacteria it may host, from the farm and supply chain This includes soil (ground based animal faeces), compost (rotted vegetable matter), airborne dropped bird faeces, road dust (often high in animal faeces), and other surface contamination that can host ...


10

Volume measurements of herbs are hopelessly imprecise to begin with; what you actually measure as 1/4 cup depends entirely on how tightly you pack them, how wet the leaves are, even the size/shape of your measuring cup or spoon. When given a measurement like that, you should always treat it as a rough guideline; don't worry about being exact, it's not ...


10

Fresh herbs should, generally, be added closer to the end of a recipe. Dried herbs should be added fairly early on during the cooking process so that they have time to "develop" and more fully release their flavors. Fresh herbs and spices, however, will generally have more subtle flavors, and they are usually best used for seasoning at the very end of the ...


9

If you wanted to use them in cooking, I would recommend putting them in a satchel (tie some cheesecloth with cooking twine), as I know some people who don't actually like to eat the flowers, but enjoy the bitter tang they'll add to a dish. They are edible, however, so if it turns out you like them, they make a beautiful garnish for a salad. I'm not a huge ...


6

Here's one method I've used successfully in the past: Cut the stems slightly, remove the rubber band, then put it all into a vase (a regular glass is fine too). Fill it with a few inches of water, then cover it all with a plastic bag with several holes poked into it. Keep it out of direct sunlight and maintain the water level, and it will actually start ...


5

You can roll the leaves and thinly slice them (chiffonade), that's my preferred method. I've never had an instance where I cut basil and made it sour though. I've never heard of boiling them, but I assume you could get the essential oils out with that method and could make an infused water. You can fry the basil leaves in oil as well to make a crunchy ...


5

Tearing is for artistic effect Some people will claim tearing does not damage the cell of the plant as much as cutting, a simple look under a basic microscope will show you otherwise. Not sure how this would affect basil in particular. What dish are you preparing? If you want more basil flavour and smell, cut it more finely, or bruise it (back of knife or ...


4

I love basil flowers. They are so much fun and I use them all the time. I have noticed that different varieties of basil at different times of the summer/growth stage will result in more bitter or delicate tasting buds. You'll just have to experiment, but I have definitely had some really floral tasting flowers this summer. I'll throw them into a pesto ...


4

I personally don't use the stems directly, and I suspect that might've been your problem. As for bitter flavors ... salt will help to mask bitterness (it's considered a 'competitor' against bitterness, not an enhancer), but it's frequently paired with sugar and/or an alternate flavoring to further hide the bitterness.


4

For the next time you make it, a common way to take out the "bite" of raw garlic is to roast it first. Chop off the top of the unpeeled head, drizzle in olive oil, sprinkle some salt, wrap in tin foil and pop in the oven. More details and pictures covered here and here. A quick search for roasted garlic pesto came up with a bunch of recipes as well. I've ...


4

I know this is a bit of an old question but I came along it on my own search so thought I'd share my solution. I figured the problem with the excess garlic is that it's raw so I sprinkled some parmesan on top of my pesto and baked it in the oven for 5-10mins. Stirred through the now melted parmesen with the semi-cooked garlic and it tastes so much better. ...


3

I have noticed that basil changes its taste as it ages, but not as to get bitter. On the other side, I like a bitter taste, so I often overlook (overtaste?) bitter notes to which other people show a strong reaction. Try getting some fresh basil and comparing the taste/aroma of the fresh and the old one, maybe it is really just the aging difference you ...


3

Fresh packet herbs, if not taken care of, will only last a few days, at best. There are two things you can do. If you have a South facing window and the herb is in a pot, place it on a dish and give it lots and lots of direct sunlight and just enough water. When you pick the leaves, take the outer growth and leave the smaller, inner leaves to come through. ...


3

In regards to the part of the question asking about storage lifetime, and with respect to the other answers on this question: pesto is a low acid food at risk for botulism: It contains garlic, which is harvested out of the ground, so may have spores (as might the basil leaves, but less likely) Underneath the oil layer is anoxic (no access to oxygen from ...


3

Pasteurization or freezing should cut the spiciness of garlic somewhat, since they reduce the flavor of whole cloves. Pesto generally freezes well, so give that a shot first. Heating the pesto briefly to a high temperature may affect the flavor, but will reduce garlic's role. The shorter the period at heat is, the less it'll affect non-garlic flavors.


3

I had this exact same problem when I first made homemade mojo... It would snap your head back when it was fresh! I had made it a day early for a party the next day and by the time the party came along, it was perfect! Could you try this and let all the flavors marinate for a day or two before serving?


3

Use it the same as you would thai basil, or even "normal" basil. It's a little more strongly on the licorice flavor side of things than lettuce leaf basil, but it still works nicely in conjunction with tomatoes, garlic, and other "italian" flavors.


3

Well basil and garlic could fit well with the walnuts (think about pesto, basil, garlic, cheese and nuts). With the bean paste... I don't know, I guess it depends what kind of tone you would like to give to the dish. Stated that the only way to know is to try, I would also try with nutmeg and, if you're brave, maybe even a pinch of cinnamon!


3

If you feel the urge to wash it before using, then wash it. The stress of not having washed it is not worth it. I used to work in the Adelaide Central Markets, and having seen what some people did before touching the produce, I habitually wash goods that were within reach of the public before I use them. When you've seen customers stick their hand in their ...


3

If you choose to cut basil with a knife, gently rub olive oil all over it before you cut it, this will prevent the leaves from darkening , particularly if you are using it in a salad.


2

How much basil are we talking about, and for how long? I don't tend to keep fresh leaves in the fridge, as it's the one thing that grows well in my garden, but you can take a length of paper towel, lay out the leaves, roll it up, then put it in the fridge -- it'll dry out rather then rot, so you won't have to pitch the whole if you forget about it. If you ...


2

mince it, add large amount of it into a small amount of stock of choice (the stock that you use most commonly, or the most innocent stock that you can think of, e.g. chicken stock), throw it into the ice tray, freeze it, remove from ice tray into resealble bag, then serve PRN.


2

This is actually precisely the reason why it's not recommended to refrigerate fresh basil leaves. I would not recommend consuming basil that has turned brown/black, especially if it is "slimy" to the touch. Even though a few brown spots are probably safe, it will be bitter and, well, slimy. Throw it away - and consider using some of the storage methods ...


2

You can store it with the stems in a glass of water, like a bouquet, preferably not in the refrigerator. A few black spots that aren't moldy or slimy doesn't make it totally unusable, but it isn't very appealing to eat.


2

Commercial pesto (at least some brands) is said to keep about a year unopened, and 5-7 days in the fridge after opening.


2

Personally, I'd read that as measure first... shred second... There is a difference as shredded leaves will take up a lot less space than non-shredded. But... regardless with fresh basil (and other herbs) you usually add right at the end to get maximum flavour impact (fresh herbs' flavour will diminish if cooked for long periods of time). Since this is the ...


2

If you didn't pre-roast your garlic and need to fix it after the fact... Throw your pesto in a saute pan with a little olive oil and cook it very lightly; that will help mellow the flavor. Also, are you using lemon juice in your garlic? I find that helps temper it while adding some much needed acid. Finally, make sure you are cutting out the "sprout" piece ...



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