The Basil has been trying to go to seed. I've been picking off the flower buds but the plants seem determined to go to seed. It's too early in the season to lose the Basil plants, so today I took a large mixing bowl out and vigourously pruned the poor Basil plants. I nipped the plants back to about half their size and ended up filling most of the bowl with lovely, sweet smelling Basil leaves.
After rinsing the leaves, checking for bugs and stray bits of plant which didn't belong, I chucked all the leaves into the food processor. I added 2 or 3 scant tablespoons of olive oil and pulsed until the leaves were roughly chopped.
I stuck the whole mass into ice cube trays. Of course, I couldn't figure out where the real ice cube trays were packed so had to use the only one I could find, which was this bar cube mould. I've never gotten this mould to make proper ice cubes, so it was a tad of a gamble. I stuck the Basil filled mould in the freezer. Reminder to self, maybe think about unpacking the rest of the kitchen stuff! A few hours later, I took it out and lo and behold, the little Basil sticks popped right out easily. They went into a labelled freezer bag, so that I can just use a piece in whatever I might need basil during the winter.
Alternately, you are also supposed to be able to chop the herbs finely, pack ice cube trays with the fresh herbs and cover with water before freezing. If I get another Basil harvest this summer, I'll try this method for comparison to see which I prefer. Apparently these methods are good for freezing Parsley, Cilantro and Mint as well. I dry my Sage, Oregano, Savoury and Thyme, though it doesn't look like there will be much Oregano to dry this year unfortunately.