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Basil Pesto

October 1, 2009

When the first fall frost is fast approaching, making pesto is the perfect distraction from the depressing thoughts of Old Man Winter knocking on my door. Bright green basil leaves strewn all over the kitchen…fingers green from picking the leaves off the stems and stinky and sore from peeling garlic.

Ingredients

    2 cups fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
    2 large cloves garlic
    1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
    1/4 cup olive oil, the good stuff
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Preparation

  1. Blanch the basil leaves for 20 seconds in boiling water and drain. This step is optional, but it keeps the pesto from turning a dull green color.
  2. Combine the basil, garlic, nuts, olive oil, and salt in the bowl of a food processor.
  3. Puree until a paste forms, stopping a few times to push down basil. Stop here if you plan to freeze* the pesto.
  4. Add cheese; blend until smooth. Use immediately.

*Freezing Pesto

For a taste of summer all winter long:

  1. Make enough pesto to fill a 1-quart freezer bag 1/3 full. Seal.
  2. Flatten the bag so that the pesto spreads out and fills the bag evenly. Freeze.

You end up with a 1/2” thick slab of frozen pesto that can be easily divided with a sharp knife into any amount you need. Don’t forget to add the Parmesan cheese after it thaws!

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