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updated: 7/12/2012 10:34 AM

Pesto turns pizza into summery treat

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  • Fresh basil makes wonderful pesto which in turn makes wonderful pizzas.

      Fresh basil makes wonderful pesto which in turn makes wonderful pizzas.
    Alicia Ross/Kitchen Scoop

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  • Fresh basil can be made into pesto, which is the ultimate summer condiment and can served with everything from pizza to sauces and soups. It also freezes well.

      Fresh basil can be made into pesto, which is the ultimate summer condiment and can served with everything from pizza to sauces and soups. It also freezes well.

 
 

Homemade basil pesto is the optimal summer condiment. Smear it on sandwiches, stir it in pasta or, as in today's recipe, spread it on pizza. Pesto Pizza With Heirloom Tomatoes can be a light dinner, summer lunch or a perfect appetizer for when friends come over.

The base is a classic pesto, and it is so easy to make at home. With this recipe the pine nuts can be raw or lightly toasted. Other raw or toasted nuts, such as walnuts, pistachios and pecans, can also be used.

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I make pesto in various degrees of thickness, depending on how I plan to use it. The consistency here is good for pizza, or as an addition to pasta sauces and soups, and gives an intense basil flavor.

I usually freeze pesto in small batches.

Snack cup-size plastic containers are good for this.

Cover the inside of each container with a light film of oil before filling. Alternately, pesto can be frozen in ice cube trays lightly sprayed with cooking oil.

When frozen, pop out the pesto cubes, store in freezer-weight bags or containers, and defrost before using.

Alicia Ross is the co-author of the "Desperation Dinners!" series of cookbooks. Write her at Kitchen Scoop, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or tellus@kitchenscoop.com. More at the Kitchen Scoop website, kitchenscoop.com.

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