About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

My Complete Profile

Recent Posts
Show & Tell
Wild Mushroom Foraging
My Harem
Those Sneaky Poles
The Wash Up
A Way To Say It
The Autism Shield
Barbecued Salmon
Autism Awareness Week
A Favour

1001 Dinners 1001 Nights
A Few of My Favourite Things
Abstract Gourmet
Apellation Australia
Becks and Posh
BurgerMary ATX
Cook (almost) Anything at least once
Cooking Down Under
Cook sister!
Cooked And Bottled In Brunswick
David Lebovitz
Deep Dish Dreams
Chef Paz
Chubby Hubby
Eating Melbourne
Eating With Jack
essjay eats
Food Lover's Journey
Grab Your Fork
I Am Obsessed With Food
I Eat Therefore I Am
Iron Chef Shellie
Just Desserts
Kalyn's Kitchen
Kitchen Wench
Matt Bites
Melbourne Gastronome
My Kitchen in Half Cups
Nola Cuisine
Not Quite Nigella
Nourish Me
Seriously Good
Souvlaki For The Soul
Stone Soup
Syrup and Tang
Steve Don't Eat It!
That Jess Ho
The Elegant Sufficiency
The Perfect Pantry
The View From My Porch
Thyme for Cooking
Tumeric & Saffron
tummy rumbles
What I Cooked Last Night
where's the beef
Vicious Ange

Food Blog Resources
Food Blog S'cool
I Eat I Drink I Work
Kiplog Food Links

Food for Thought
Autism Victoria
Autism Vox
forget me now
Lotus Martinis
MOM - Not Otherwise Specified
St Kilda Today

Friday, May 25, 2007
Basil Preserved in Oil
I've a short little entry to this weeks Weekend Herb Blogging being hosted by the lovely Ellie from Kitchen Wench.

Noodling through TimeLife's The Good Cook Preserving edition, I came across a short, not so much a recipe but technique, for preserving basil leaves. Now I know at least one or two people who absolutely adore this wonderful herb and Kalyn is one of them. She has a clever method for freezing basil, but this particular treatment gives you the flexibility of not having to defrost your frozen bounty if you only want one or two leaves.

I'm yet to try this method, but I have found that most things from this wonderful cooking series do work well. They suggest that basil preserved this way may be used wherever you would use salt and oil, as well as basil. That might be a cooked dish like a soup or it could be in a salad.

Basil Preserved in Oil
From Tina Cecchini - Les Conserves De Fruits Et Legumes

125 g (4 oz) basil leaves, stemmed, washed, spread to dry on a towel
12.5 cl (4 fl oz) olive oil
30 g ( 1 oz) salt

In a clean jar, place a layer of basil leaves and sprinkle with some of the salt. Continue to layer the leaves and sprinkle the salt until everything is used up and the jar is three-quarters full. Fill the jar with the oil, seal tightly and store in a dark cupboard. The basil will be ready to use after a month.

Edited to add: Isn't the Internet a wonderful place? A reader (thank you) has just let me know of an article by The Herb Society of America, where they in fact do not recommend you use this particular preserving method for the long term keeping of basil, due to the risk of botulism. They say you can store basil this way, in the fridge, for a maximum of two weeks. Two weeks for me means that this method is not really viable as there isn't much point to it, but the article did go on to say that preserving basil leaves in salt alone worked quite well and lasts up until the next season. Simply layer clean, dry basil leaves into a clean jar with plenty of salt between the layers, that's it.

I will leave this entry up as a window into our recent past practices, which unknowingly could have possibly made one very sick or very dead. You just can't be too clean or careful when preserving food.


  posted at 7:56 am

At 11:28 am, Blogger Kalyn said...

Most interesting. This is just how you make preserved lemons (so I hear, I've been too lazy to make them so far.) So I guess this would be preserved basil. What could be better?

At 3:10 pm, Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Certainly I need to learn more about how to preserve! Much more complicated than I thought. I'm always looking for ways to do things like this.

At 7:12 pm, Anonymous Ellie said...

How interesting! I'm wondering about how well they would preserve in salt, and whether the resulting basil would carry any of the saltiness?

At 3:04 pm, Blogger Squishy said...

Very Interesting. Thank you.

At 11:29 am, Anonymous Paz said...

Oh! I like the idea of this!


At 3:49 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi kalyn, It looks like preserved lemons would be a better bet!

Hi tanna, thanks for your help on this. It looks like we have to look a lot more carefully!

Hi ellie, my thought is the leaves wouldn't absorb much salt, but that said if you used them in recipes needing salt, it shoudn't be a problem.

Hi squishy, it did look interesting to me as well. It seems high acid foods preserve quite well this way, but there is some danger in low acid foods.

Hi paz, didn't it just seem so neat.

At 11:18 pm, Anonymous John Mundell said...

Hi Neil, I have just read your WHB entry, and I was just about to comment on how I prepare my basil in oil, when I looked closely at the details on botulism. I was shocked to see that it can be found in such readily easy prepared products. I will be paying extra attention to this in the future. Many thanks for pointing this out.

At 9:26 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi john, I was shocked myself when it was pointed out to me, so I know how you feel. One cannot be too careful about preserving food for later consumption.

At 9:51 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

can you make a "pesto" using just oil and freeze it? Thanks


Post a Comment

<< Home


Recipe Categories
Cakes & Desserts

November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
May 2009
June 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
July 2012

Prev ~ List ~ Random ~ Join ~ Next
Site Ring from Bravenet

Site Feed

counter easy hit

Blog Design by:

Image created by:
Ximena Maier

Powered by:

Photos, Original Recipes, and Text - (C) Copyright: 2005-2010
At My Table by Neil Murray, all rights reserved.
You may re-post a recipe, please give credit and post a link to this site.

Contact Me
Neil Murray

Follow messytable on Twitter