Preserving fresh basil – one bunch can go in many meals

pizza_ready_oven Last weekend we were riding our bikes to Roberts, a 62 mile ride to a great farmer's market in the middle of nowhere - or around Homestead, Florida. I had found a bunch of basil and stuffed it into one of my empty insulated water bottles.

I used the basil in a batch of delicious tomato basil risotto. But it was a big bunch - and I didn't want it to wither in the produce drawer. So, I blended it in the food processor with a little olive oil. And then I froze it in a flat chunk in foil (see the picture below). A traditional pesto has more ingredients - like garlic, pine nuts, other herbs, etc. and you can certainly add all of those, but there is also nothing wrong with simply preserving an herb in olive oil and freezing it and using it like pesto.

Last night we made a low-fat, low-sodium tomato basil pizza -  this is thanks to a low-sodium crust called Mama Mia, salt-free Enrico's pasta sauce, my frozen basil stash, fresh tomatoes and a very light 1 tablespoon sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese. The basil was so delicious it more than made up for the lack of cheese that you would usually find on pizza - much less saturated fat and sodium too!

I regret that there is not a picture of the finished pizza - we were scurrying to eat it while watching the Tour de France and forgot to photograph it!

pizza_pestopizza_pesto_dabs

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