Winter has begun! We’re having the first frost of the season tonight. Summer and winter are really the only two seasons here. Summer days are often well over 30 degrees Celsius, and winter days are generally -30C, and frequently close to -50C. There’s snow on the ground (a lot of it!) for at least six months a year. It’s beautiful, though, despite the crazy weather. There’s never been a green Christmas, that’s for sure.
With this in mind, I harvested all my late summer basil earlier today to freeze for winter use. Dried basil is essentially tasteless, so if you can get your hands on some fresh stuff, freeze it instead of drying it. This method is easy and will give you little bursts of flavour in your recipes all winter long. Essentially, you blend basil with a couple of other ingredients and freeze it in little cubes. It’s so simple that it’s not really a recipe, so that’s why it’s here instead of a regular weekly post. I love throwing these buddies in soups, pasta sauces, and thawing them for toast or pizza.
5 cups basil leaves
10 cloves garlic
Juice of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
Chop the basil leaves and garlic in a food processor or high speed blender. Add the lemon juice and salt and pulse to combine. Slowly add the olive oil, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary. You don’t have to use the full amount if it’s blending up without it. You’re going for a consistency similar to pesto.
Spoon the mixture into a clean ice cube tray. If you don’t want to use yours, just line a tray with parchment paper and freeze the pesto in dollops on there, removing and packaging once they’re solid. This lasts several months.
You can use as much basil as you have, just change the recipe proportions accordingly.