Tag: basil

How to store basil to have it even in winter – Italian Cuisine

How to store basil to have it even in winter

Among the aromatic plants, basil is the one that best represents Mediterranean cuisine. With its unmistakable and pervading scent, it is the ingredient that you cannot do without to give freshness, flavor and color to every dish. Keep it even after the summer? You can, here's how

From spring to late summer there is no balcony or even just a window sill from which the unmistakable terracotta pot in which the basil grows flourishes does not appear. King of aromatic plants, (its name in Greek means royal herb), it has always been used for its therapeutic qualities and to flavor foods. There are about 40 varieties, but the most common are the Genoese basil, very fragrant, and the Neapolitan basil, with a large leaf. Finding it fresh and fragrant in autumn and winter is at least complicated: for this, here are three ideas to keep it and enjoy it longer.

Freeze the leaves

It is a very easy method for storing basil. You have to collect the leaves, remove the seeds, wash them and dab them with paper towels. Once dry you must arrange them on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil and put them in the freezer for about two hours. Once frozen, you can put them gently in an airtight container and put everything in the freezer. When you need them, all you have to do is take the quantity you need. The leaves will retain their scent and color for several months.

Store the leaves in fine salt

Take a resealable jar and fill it with basil leaves previously washed and dried carefully, so that they do not become moldy. Pour over the leaves of the fine salt, making several layers of salt and basil. Fill up to 5 cm from the edge and then cover with more salt. Close the jar and place it in a cool and dry place: the leaves will keep for as long as you want. When you need it, just take them and add salt to the jar.

Freeze a base for pesto

If you want you can prepare one base that will be useful for quickly cooking pesto. Chop the cleaned basil with extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place the sauce in a glass container with a lid and freeze. At the time of use, all you have to do is thaw everything and add the parmesan, pecorino, garlic and chopped pine nuts to the sauce. A tip for singles: put the base for the pesto in the ice containers. If necessary, you will thaw only the dose you need.

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Sword dumplings with stracciatella and basil – Italian Cuisine

Sword dumplings with stracciatella and basil

The swordfish closed like a bundle, inside the soft and enveloping flavor of the stracciatella Murgella. The dumplings are served on fragrant blinis.

1) Briefly toast the almonds, let them cool and pass them to the mixer with the garlic, abundant leaves of basil, a pinch of salt, the zest of lemon and the oil necessary to obtain a thick and coarse pesto. Season with salt and let rest 10 minutes.

2) Put the slices of sword well laid out on the work surface.

3) Blend the stracciatella for a few moments with a handful of basil leaves and a pinch of pepper, distribute the mixture in the center of the slices and close again to form the bundles.

4) Let the cool blinis in the oven at 180 °, distribute 1 teaspoon of pesto, add the bundles, garnish with lemon zest and basil leaves and serve immediately.


Basil sorbet: how to prepare and serve it – Italian Cuisine

Basil sorbet: how to prepare and serve it

Basil sorbet is a fresh and light idea to surprise your guests

Basil sorbet is the green alternative to the classic lemon sorbet. It can be served at the end of a meal or even halfway to switch from one course to another and is ideal for cleaning the mouth and stimulating digestion.

The basil sorbet

The sorbet has a different consistency, is more dense and similar to an ice cream and less watery, but the ingredients are the same. The process only changes a little because everything is blended with an immersion blender instead of mixed. If you want to make the sorbet softer you can add a whipped egg white and the result will be very similar to a fruit ice cream.

The recipe for granita

Basil granita is made with fresh basil leaves. Choose small and soft (a bunch will suffice) and cook them in a saucepan with 100 gr of sugar and a little water. When the sugar is completely dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and add 250 ml of white wine. Let the mixture cool for 12 hours and then remove the leaves and add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and a few finely chopped basil leaves.
Pour everything into a freezer container and leave to cool for about three hours, stirring every 30 minutes with a spoon to keep the mixture creamy.

Basil granita can be served alone or as an accompaniment to sweet and savory dishes.

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