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April 26, 2019

What to do with all that Basil?

I love basil – the smell reminds me of my great-grandmother’s kitchen and always makes me hungry. Yet, aside from a couple caprese salads, I never seem to use much and always end up cutting down a giant plant in the fall.

Potted Basil Seedlings

I love basil – the smell reminds me of my great-grandmother’s kitchen and always makes me hungry. Yet, aside from a couple caprese salads, I never seem to use much and always end up cutting down a giant plant in the fall. Last year, after reminding myself how much fresh basil costs at the supermarket, I decided to make a giant batch of pesto pasta sauce.  Having cheap, delicious, easy to make suppers throughout the winter was well worth the little time I put into making the sauce, and I highly recommend using your unused basil in a pesto.

Pesto freezes remarkable well, so make as much as you want.  The general rule for making pesto is to use 2 cups of fresh basil leaves along with ½ cup olive oil, ½ cup grated parmesan cheese and a clove of garlic.   If you have a food processor simply toss those ingredients together, hit start, and pesto!  Making pesto also works in an ordinary blender, although you may have to add more olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.   Some pesto lovers fry pine nuts in a little olive oil and add them to the food processor, but I prefer to fry them and keep them whole and add to the pasta when prepared.

Pesto pasta is simple, easy and healthy.  To boost the good-for-you factor try adding broccoli and snow peas to get your daily injection of veggies.

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