a sunny window sill will keep your basil going for awhile but dont be surprised if it starts to lose leaves mid-winter. Indoor basil plants are generally pale and leggy. But it is certainly worth a try if you can find the right spot.
Or harvest the plant and make pesto (w/o the cheese) to freeze and you will have a taste of summer flavor long into the cold dark days of winter. I freeze the pesto in ice cube trays and then store the cubes in a large zip lock.
With the high price of fresh herbs at the store (especially in the winter) we have tried bringing all types of plants in doors, with mixed success. Rosemary and garlic chives have lasted well all year to be replanted outside the following spring. Basil is more difficult. The plants we put in the garden in May come indoors in October. They make it until about February, but get leggier the older they get. I think this is probably more due to the age of the plant than the growing conditions. This fall we are buying fresh, young plants and expect they will make it through the year in the greenhouse or on a sunny window sill. Also, we'll start different variety of seeds to see which are most successful. Basil is one of the most versitile herbs for cooking. We’ve frozen pesto in ice cube trays and it works well. Hint: If you put a few drops of oil on top of the pesto in the trays the pesto will stay bright green. We use this “fresh” pesto in all types of dishes, all winter long. Another good use for fresh basil is to make a flavored oil. Just tear a large bunch of basil leaves (discard stems) into rough pieces and wash. Pound the leaves using a pestle and mortar with a little olive oil to release the flavor of the leaves. Add more leaves until all are crushed. Fill half a sterilized bottle with olive oil and half of the basil leaves. Add a pinch of rock salt and fill the bottle up with the rest of the leaves and olive oil. Seal firmly and let the infused oil stand for two weeks, occasionally turning the bottle upside down to mix the flavors. Strain the oil into a clean bottle. You can add a sprig of fresh basil if desired. - looks nice and adds to the flavor. This basil infused oil is wonderful over a toasted baguette, and in salad dressings, soups and sauces. While it’s not fresh basil, the flavor is the next best thing. We are also making rosemary infused oil this winter. We have also given bottles of herb flavored oil as gifts. We keep all of our used commercial salad dressing bottles for this use. After you clean them remove the old labels with Goo Gone and you have perfect bottles for your herb-flavored oil.
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