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AeroGarden basil: it’s always sunny in my back hallway
Too much basil is a problem I usually don’t have until September or October each year. When the weather is turning cold I take all of the basil that’s left in my garden and make a whole lot of pesto.
Thanks to my AeroGardens, I’m happily having the too-much-basil problem right now. So between yesterday and today I made a few batches of delicious, nutty, garlicky pesto.
The problem, of course, is that fresh, homemade pesto usually only tastes good for a couple of days. But the good news is that pesto freezes very well, and can be stored in the freezer for up to a year.
The key to freezing pesto is to leave the Parmesan cheese out, and add it in after thawing.
My favorite pesto recipe is below. Once it’s made, you simply spoon it into ice cube trays, freeze solid, and then pop the pesto cubes out and store in a ziploc bag. When you want pesto, just thaw a cube or two, stir in a little shredded or grated Parmesan cheese, and enjoy!
You can do this in any old ice cube trays, but it’s a good idea to keep a set just for freezing food, so that your ice cubes don’t taste funny. I love these trays from Oxo, because they have lids and you can stack other things on top of them (there’s also an air-tight version).
If you don’t have an indoor garden, tuck this recipe away for the fall when you’re buried in basil, so that you can enjoy pesto all winter long.
- 3-6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 cups (packed) basil leaves
- 1/3 cup pinenuts
- 1/2 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese (leave out if you’re freezing the pesto)
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Put garlic in food processor and pulse a few times
- Add basil and pine nuts and pulse until everything is in tiny pieces; you may want to scrape down sides of processor bowl with a rubber spatula
- Add the cheese (if using) and pulse a few more times
- With the food processor running, pour the olive oil in and let the processor run for about ten more seconds, until everything is very well combined
- Transfer the pesto to a bowl and whisk in salt and pepper to taste
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours, or freeze for up to a year