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Ask Pam: How can I use up my bumper crop of basil?

What started out to be two cute little basil plants turned into two bush-size monsters anchoring either side of my garden. Good thing it's my favorite herb! I love it on tomato sandwiches, chopped and stirred into potato salad, chicken salad, tomato-and-cucumber salad, fresh cooked veggies, pasta sauces—the list goes on and on! But, one of the easiest things to make when you've got loads of basil is pesto.

I always start with the Basil Pesto recipe from Southern Living, June 2011 but use two cups of packed basil leaves rather than loosely packed, stir in a little extra Parmesan cheese, and I used toasted pecans rather than pine nuts. Feel free to experiment—pesto is one of those recipes that begs for personal touches!

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After you've made your pesto, here are some great ways to use it:

You can enjoy a taste of summer year-round by freezing any leftover pesto in ice-cube trays and then placing the frozen cubes in zip-top freezer bags.

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