Last month, with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, I dropped the final cubes of our frozen pesto into a pot of pasta. Prior to last summer we’d never used pesto, let alone made or frozen it, but, it was enough of a hit with the family (in varying degrees) that I froze several batches before the summer ended.
Without realizing it, over the fall and winter months, pesto became a monthly staple of our Monday pasta nights—a welcome alternative to tomato sauce, and much easier (and healthier) than white sauce. So it was, as I used our final pesto reserves, that I longingly thought of the bunches of basil I’d forgotten to pick up from our neighborhood farm stand so I could make just one more batch of frozen pesto.
Then came a blessing of the sort that we’ve come to term a “God-wink” around these parts. 4-ounce boxes of basil almost past their sell-by date (organic, no less), marked down to $2/box at the grocery store. (To add a little perspective, similar single stems of basil were going for $1 each). Not sure of what I’d find buried in the box when I got it home, I only bought one ( 1? again—now I’m kicking myself).
Back at home, I found I’d struck gold (only two or three leaves had to be discarded). Following a recipe similar to this one, I added two tomatoes teetering on the brink of the compost pail, 3 cloves of garlic, and other ingredients, and in a few moments had a double-batch of tomato-basil pesto.
This translated into enough to fill a full ice cube tray. Just 12 cubes of pesto-ey goodness. (Sorry, no pictures of the finished product.) Not much, but enough to hold off the winter blues, at least on pasta nights.
And, lesson learned (finally). When in doubt, buy more basil.