Wondering what to do with the culinary herbs you grow? Here's an idea... make herbal jellies. Great as gifts. Make up a gift basket with jellies, vinegars and flavored olive oils. Who can resist?
Here's a recipe I recently received and have not had a chance to try yet. Go to Lemon Verbena Lady's blog for more...
I think you could use other culinary herbs as well as basils. Experiment with your favorites.
Scented Basil Jellies
Makes four 8-ounce jars
• 1½ cups packed fresh anise, cinnamon, opal or lemon basil
• 2 cups water
• 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
• Pinch of salt
• 3½ cups sugar
• 3 ounces liquid pectin
1. Wash and dry the basil in paper towels, then coarsely chop it. Put the basil in a large saucepan and crush the leaves, using the bottom of a glass. Add the water, bring slowly to a boil and boil for 10 seconds. Remove the saucepan from the heat; cover and let sit for 15 minutes to steep.
2. Strain 1½ cups of liquid from the saucepan and pour through a fine strainer into another saucepan. Add the vinegar, salt and sugar and bring to a hard boil, stirring. When the boil can't be stirred down, add the pectin. Return the portion that can't be stirred down to a hard boil and boil for exactly 1 minute; remove saucepan from heat.
3. Skim off the foam and pour the hot jelly into four hot, sterilized (sterilized in boiling water for 10 minutes) half-pint jelly jars. Leave ½-inch (or less) headspace and seal at once with sterilized 2-piece lids. I just leave my lids in hot water not boiling until you need them. Can the jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.
Recipe from Recipes from a Kitchen Garden by Renee Shepherd & Fran Raboff, Berkeley (Ten Speed Press, 1993).