Make pesto now while basil is in season

  • By Jessi Loerch
  • Tuesday, July 16, 2013 9:37am
  • Life

On Sunday, my husband came home from the farmers market with two giant bunches of basil.

They were beautifully green and filled my kitchen with the scent of summer.

Every year I make pesto to save for the winter. It’s criminally easy to make. Come some dreary January day, I’ll be able to enjoy the flavors of summer for minimal effort. Seriously, the process takes about 5 minutes.

So, while the basil is easy to find and delicious, might I suggest you make some, too? Here’s how to do it.

Basil pesto

  • 2 cups fresh basil, packed tight
  • 3 cloves garlic, or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


Rinse the basil leaves, then shake them as dry as you can. Drop all of the pine nuts and garlic in a food processor. Give it a few quick pulses and then add in the basil. Process until it’s well mixed and all the large pieces are gone. Add in the olive oil and process until the whole mixture is smooth. The mix should be slightly oily all the way through. If it’s not, add more oil.

If you’re going to eat the pesto immediately, add in some freshly shredded parmesan cheese. If you’re going to save it, spoon it into an ice cube tray.

I like to add a tiny layer of oil over the top of each cube. It minimizes how much the pesto turns brown. You could also cover the whole tray with plastic wrap. This step is completely optional.

Once your pesto is frozen solid, pop the cubes out of the trays and store tightly covered in the freezer.

When you’re ready to use it, take out as many cubes as you need and have fun. You can let them melt in the fridge, put them in the microwave, or simply drop them in a warm pot and stir carefully to keep them from singeing.

Once the pesto is melted, add parmesan if desired.

Smugly congratulate yourself for being smart enough to plan ahead in the summer.

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