by Ellen Olack, Green Student Intern | June 30, 2015
With two farmers’ markets and the Farmers’ Market Store in Oxford, it is easy to access delicious local food this summer. One warm weather staple available at the markets right now is basil. Pick up a bunch and try making pesto, a real summer delight.
Pesto has more uses than just a pasta topping. Use it as a dip, a substitute for mayo or other sandwich spreads, a topping for fish, poultry or even a baked potato – the possibilities are endless!
During the winter when basil is not in season, make pesto with parsley or fava bean leaves. Pesto also freezes well, but never heat it! Defrost it in the fridge or let it come to room temperature naturally. The color will darken as it ages and is exposed to air. You might miss the vibrant green color, but the taste will remain consistent. If you purchase basil before you’re ready to make pesto, be sure to store it in a cup of water on your kitchen counter. The coolness of your refrigerator will quickly wilt the leaves.