Q: I have a large quantity of basil that I want to freeze and save for later. How can I keep it from turning black in the freezer?

— C.W., Pataskala, Ohio

A: The best way to keep herbs from turning black when frozen is to blanch and freeze them in olive oil.

Drop the basil leaves in boiling water until they show a bright-green color, about a minute or less. Remove the leaves and place them immediately in a bowl of ice water for a minute. Dry the leaves, then pack them in olive oil and store them in the freezer.

You can freeze the basil leaves in an ice-cube tray filled with olive oil so you can remove the herb in small quantities when you want to use it.

With the tray stored in a large zipper-lock bag, the herbs should keep for several months.

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