mid-winter pesto

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.

IMG_2417Then 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).

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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.

IMG_2415

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.

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