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Category:  Recipes

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By Charlie Burke

With the first frost approaching, one of the most vulnerable plants is basil, and it is a sad sight to see blackened dead plants where the day before large basil flourished.

Needless to say, basil does not freeze well, and dried basil has none of the aromatic flavor of fresh. You can solve the problem of preserving fall basil by making pesto. Make a batch and freeze it in small lidded plastic storage cups which hold a half cup, which is the correct amount for one pound of pasta. Put a small amount of olive oil over the top of the pesto to prevent discoloration.

This recipe is quite authentic and tastes much like the pesto served in the Genoa region of Italy. It is quick and easy using a blender or a food processor, rather than the traditional mortar and pestle which gives pesto its name.

This recipe is for one pound of pasta which serves four to six, but it can be easily multiplied.

1 cup fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
1/2 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts (walnuts or almonds may be substituted)
1/4 cup olive oil

Place first five ingredients into food processor and pulse until garlic and nuts are chopped. Add olive oil and blend until smooth.

Few recipes reward such little effort with such great flavor, and if you have a large amount of basil, the taste of summer will be as close as your freezer, even during the coldest months of winter! We use it for pizza, as a topping for bread and mix it with vegetables, in addition to saucing pasta dishes.

An organic farmer and avid cook, writer Charlie Burke is the vice president of the New Hampshire Farmer's Market Association ( His column & recipes appear weekly in The Heart of New England's newsletter... get a free subscription by sending a blank email to: or visit


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