PestoWe froze a bunch of fresh basil from our garden last fall, so we could make “fresh” pesto during the winter. Pesto is simple to make for a weeknight meal, and is oh-so-good on pasta. I wasn’t sure how well basil would freeze, because if you’ve ever seen what it looks like in the garden after a frost, it turns a nasty, goopy black! Smile with tongue outBut it worked fine in vacuum sealed bags.

Basil

I froze it in generous three-cup portions, which shrunk down into tiny packages when vacuum sealed. This makes a good-sized batch of pesto that could serve four people in a pasta dish (or two people eating leftovers!).

To make, I follow the Joy of Cooking recipe, multiplied by 1.5:

3 c loosely packed basil leaves
1/2 c pine nuts
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 c grated parmesan cheese
3/4 c olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Simply throw the frozen (or fresh) basil leaves in a food processor with the other ingredients, except the oil. Whirl until everything is finely chopped, then start adding oil until it reaches the desired consistency.
PestoBlend

It literally takes just minutes. I have a small food processor attachment that fits onto the blender. I really like it because it’s easy to pull out of the cupboard and there are just three pieces to lightly wash. If I had a more cumbersome food processor, I might be less likely to make pesto from scratch. I think you could get by with making it in a blender, if you, too, are like me and not likely to haul out a big kitchen appliance from some out-of-the way cabinet!

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