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.


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.

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!