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Basil Harvest, simple pesto recipe

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Even though it was 80 degrees today, it is still mid-October, and the Kill Frost could soon take me by surprise.  It’s a Thursday, so why not harvest the basil and make a giant batch of pesto for the freezer?  Come on, kids, out to the garden!

Because I harvested about 12 plants, and took all but a few tender shoots, I have several batches to make.

Pesto Recipe

4 cups packed basil leaves, stems removed
1 cup walnuts (this is the cheap way!)
2 cloves garlic
1 cup olive oil
I Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Once the leaves are separated from the stems, set in a colander and lower into a pot of boiling water.  Stir around for about 15 seconds, then rinse in ice-cold water to stop the cooking.  I have found this really does help keep the sauce from turning black.

In a food processor (or a blender, I suppose) combine the walnuts and garlic, pulsing until they resemble a fine meal.

Squeeze the wet basil leaves to remove the excess water and add to the food processor, along with the lemon juice.  Turn “on” and stream 1/2 of the olive oil through the hole in the top.  Stop when everything is combined.  Add the cheese, turn “on” and continue pouring in the remaining olive oil.  Let the machine run until the sauce is smooth and creamy.

I line mini loaf pans with plastic wrap, fill with pesto and put in the freezer over-night. The next day, remove and store in a freezer bag.  I find this small brick a good amount for a meal at our house.  You can also slice off pieces as you need.

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