Basil: Storing and Preserving

 

Once basil is picked, it begins to wilt quickly. To store basil, stick the stems directly in a container with an inch or so of water in the bottom and keep at room temperature. In this way, basil can last more than a week. If you only have the de-stemmed leaves, wrap them in a paper towel and place them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper.

 

If you have more basil than you know what to do with, a simple way of preserving it is to chop it fine with a very sharp knife (basil bruises easily) and combine it with a few tablespoons of olive oil (depending on how much basil you have, you may need to add more oil). Spoon the basil-oil mixture into small containers or ice cube trays and freeze. Whenever you need fresh basil flavor, pull out a cube of basil and toss it into cooked dishes or thaw and use it in salad dressings.

 

You can also make a simple basil compound butter. “Compound butter” just means butter with flavorings added to it. Let butter (salted or unsalted) come to room temperature. You can flavor the butter as much or little as you like—we like to pack as much flavor as we can into the butter, but a more subtle approach is fine too. A good average is 3 cups packed basil leaves, finely chopped, per pound of butter. In a stand mixer or by hand, whip the butter until light and fluffy. Finely chop the basil and add to the butter, beating until combined. Divide the butter between 4 sheets of parchment paper and roll them up tightly. Place in a plastic freezer bag and freeze until needed. Basil butter is excellent on toast, in eggs, as a finishing butter for meats and vegetables, and in pretty much anything savory.

A New Generation of JOY

 

In the nearly ninety years since Irma Rombauer self-published the first Joy of Cooking, it has become the kitchen bible, with more than 20 million copies in print. This new edition of Joy has been thoroughly revised and expanded by Irma’s great-grandson John Becker and his wife, Megan Scott. They developed more than six hundred new recipes for this edition, tested and tweaked thousands of classic recipes, and updated every section of every chapter to reflect the latest ingredients and techniques available to today’s home cooks. Their strategy for revising this edition was the same one Irma and Marion employed: Vet, research, and improve Joy’s coverage of legacy recipes while introducing new dishes, modern cooking techniques, and comprehensive information on ingredients now available at farmers’ markets and grocery stores. Joy is and has been the essential and trusted guide for home cooks for almost a century. This new edition continues that legacy.

 

On Sale November 12, 2019

Hardcover

List Price $40.00 (price may vary by retailer)

eBook

List Price $19.99 (price may vary by retailer)