Sunday, September 23, 2012

Processing Basil!

Purple Basil in White Wine Vinegar for Two Weeks!

Sweet Basil Waiting to be Processed into Jelly and Pesto

Cinnamon Basil for Jelly

Those Chinese Takeout Soup Containers Perfect for Keeping Basil Leaves Overnight

Cinnamon Basil Leaves After Overnight Stay
It was just been wild and crazy here as it always is this time of year.  Our temperatures here have gotten a whole lot cooler and basil doesn't like that.  I have now cut the majority of my basil down.   I was pleasantly surprised to use my small Chinese takeout soup containers to measure out recipes for my spicy basil apple jelly and the cinnamon basil jelly I make.  The leaves held well overnight.  Much better than in just a plastic bag.  I just had one plant of purple basil and it makes a lovely herbal vinegar in white wine vinegar in about two weeks.  Easy, peasy as Jamie Oliver would say.  Then one of my favorite contemporary herbal authors and blogging pals, Jim Long, who is a never ending source of fabulous recipes came up with Zucchini Pesto Bread!  Genius!  He says it's good as a grilled cheese sandwich!  Anything cheesy, I'm in!  He also gives you a traditional pesto recipe and a not so traditional one.  As always, Jim does the thinking and I just try to make them!

Here is my Spicy Basil Apple Jelly recipe:
Makes Four 8 oz. jars

1 1/2 cups of sweet basil, chopped
2 T. of whole cloves
2 cups of apple juice
1 3 oz. package of liquid pectin
3 1/2 cups of sugar

Put chopped basil, cloves and apple juice into a 3-1/2 (or larger) quart saucepan.  Heat to boiling for 10 seconds.  Take off the burner and steep covered for 30 minutes.  Strain 1-1/2 cups of juice into a 3-1/2 (or larger) quart saucepan with 3-1/2 cups of sugar.  Stirring constantly bring up to a boil that can't be stirred down, take off burner briefly and add contents of liquid pectin.  Bring back to a boil and boil exactly 1 minute.  Let jelly sit while you take out your boiled jars (Boil for 10 minutes before you start making the jelly.) and lids that you heated with boiling water.  Skim foam from surface of jelly with spoon.  Pour jelly into four 8 oz. jars and skim bubbles from top of jelly one last time and cover with lids and rings.  Boil for 5 minutes in a boiling water bath.  Tops should pop down and seal.  If not, put in refrigerator and use promptly.

Well, whether you are busy in the kitchen making pesto or other goodies.  Just remember here in the northeast or mid-Atlantic, we are going to be busy harvesting and processing your herbs.  Here is a green pepper basil that will come in for the winter.  It will not be this full when winter is finished, but hopefully, it will hang in there in our living room which has a southern exposure.
Hope you are having a great day wherever you may be.  Talk to you later.  Got some more travel photos to share.


Mina said...

Oh, that cinnamon basil sounds yummy! One of these days I will have time to make such delicious treasures and until then I have to live vicariously through you. ;-) Hugs, Mina

lemonverbenalady said...

Hi dear Mina, So glad you came by for a visit to the herb garden. Hope you are feeling better. xxoo Nancy