At this time of year when everything is so abundant, it gives me a lot of pleasure to preserve some of those wonderful fresh flavours to enjoy in the dark days of winter. There is nothing better than pulling something out of your pantry or freezer on dark rainy January night that is redolent in the freshness of a sunny August day. I managed last year to have a enough home canned tomato puree to not have to buy a singe can of tomatoes the entire winter. I am starting to can again this year now that the tomatoes are in season, but I grow a lot of herbs and wanted to preserve some of those as well. Pesto seemed the best way to preserve my summer basil.
My basil is at it's height right now and often I find that before I have had a chance to do anything with the remaining leaves at the end of the summer it is gone. So I realized this weekend that there was enough basil on my deck, that I could cut enough to make some pesto and still have plenty to use fresh.
|One of my patches of basil|
I froze mine without any Parmesan in it as this could be added later. So I gathered my ingredients together.
2 handfuls of fresh basil
1 clove of garlic
3/4 cup of pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Enough olive oil to combine and make a thick sauce about 1/4 cup
I picked the leaves off the stalks and added them along with the garlic and pine nuts in to a small food processor.
I wizzed these ingredients together adding olive oil as I went to get the correct consitancy.
Then I put this in to two small plastic containers ready to freeze.
This made enough for two meals of pesto pasta, or 2 pizza bases or perhaps flavouring for a casserole or soup needing a fresh kick in February. I reckon in a couple of weeks there will be plenty more basil for me to make more pesto, so that there is enough to see me through the winter.