How to Make Fresh Basil Conserve / CM

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Fresh basil leaves
extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt

If you have a lot of basil in your garden at the end of summer, this is a good way to use it just before the frost.

Harvest your basil at the end of a warm dry day. Allow to sit for about one hour.

Use small jars if you have them, otherwise canning jars will do.

At the bottom of each jar, add 1/4" kosher salt to the bottom and cover this with olive oil. Leaving basil leaves on the stem, layer them into the jar, pressing with the back of a spoon.

Sprinkle each layer with a quarter inch of salt, and pour oil over each layer, repeating until the jar is full and packed tightly with basil. End with a layer of salt and cover with oil.

You may add one or two whole cloves of garlic, and a tiny hot pepper.

Store jars in the warmest section of your refrigerator. Will keep for several weeks. The basil leaves will become dark green and wilted, but the flavor will intensify and they will make a wonderful addition to your sauces, stews, and salads.

This is an old Italian (Sicilian) method of storing remaining basil from the garden at the end of summer. This method was used by my mother and grandparents who brought the technique with them from Italy.

They always had an abundance of fresh basil growing in the garden and in oversized decorated flowerpots, right alongside the tomatoes, hot peppers, and Italian parsley.

Submitted by: CM
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