Well, I do love basil and I especially love pesto. I think making pesto would be a good method of preservation. Did you know pesto can be successfully frozen? This means I can enjoy my basil through the winter months. I adore pesto on pizza, it's wonderful on grilled tilapia and of course, it can be tossed with pasta.
Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" is one of my favorite cook books and his recipe for Basic Pesto is wonderful. If you plan to freeze it, leave out the cheese until you're ready to use it. Actually, it's probably a good idea to leave it out completely, and add the cheese as you go. You may not want the cheese in some dishes, anyway.
2 loosely packed cups fresh basil leaves, big stems discarded, rinsed and dried
Salt to taste
1/2 to 2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, lightly toasted in a dry skillet
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Combine the basil, salt, garlic, nuts and about 1/2 the oil in a food processor or blender.
- Process, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container occasionally, and adding the rest of the oil gradually. Add additional oil if you prefer a thinner mixture (I did not use all the oil stated). Store in the refrigerator for a week or two, or in the freezer for several months. Stir in the parmesan by hand just before serving.