Plan Ahead for a Taste of Summer During Winter: Pesto

What could be better on a cold snowy day than a taste of summer? Nothing. So now’s the time to make that happen with big batches of pesto. Basil is abundant right now, but will disappear with the first touch of frost.

It’s simple to make, simple to store – just freeze in ice cube trays and pop into freezer bags (reserve the trays exclusively for pesto, though) and delicious to eat.

Here’s all you need:
8 cups basil, packed
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cups pine nuts, toasted (or substitute toasted pecans)
3 – 4 garlic cloves
1 cup olive oil
Put it first 4 ingredients in the food processor and blend. Slowly stream in the olive until you have a smooth sauce.

Now what? Come December or January, you can pop a couple of cubes in with cooked spaghetti or cheese tortellini, add a little cream, heat through, and you have the perfect 10-minute supper. Or try using it on baked sweet potatoes. How about adding a dollop to a bowl of hearty vegetable soup or spreading it inside a cheese sandwich before grilling? Try adding it to cornbread for a fresh, garlicky riff on an old favorite.

My favorite? Fresh sliced tomato, mozzarella, and prosciutto on ciabatta bread, slathered with pesto. Yum, summer in a sandwich any time of the year.

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