Monday, September 21, 2009

Preserving Food ~ Freezing Pesto

There is something uniquely 'summer' about fresh pesto. The green, the taste, even the smell can bring back warm days and the idea that another summer may just be around the corner. Store bought pesto has always seemed sort of lifeless to me. I love the ease of it, and really enjoy the extra flavor it can bring, but it just doesn't have the zing of freshly made pesto with basil strait from the farm or garden. With that in mind, I went about trying to store some of that summer flare for my families winter meals.

I froze 12 half pints of pesto last week after being gifted with a crazy amount of basil. Last year, when I froze it, I left the cheese in. This didn't freeze too well and so I decided this year that I would just leave the cheese out and add it when we made the dish instead.

Basic Pesto for Freezing

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
2 - 3 garlic cloves, peeled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put everything in a food processor and pulse until you get the consistency you want. Makes one half pint (I only have a 1 cup food processor. I am pretty sure the recipe can be doubled or more, but I wasn't able to test it. If someone does do this, would you leave me a comment letting me know how it turned out? Thanks!).

I packed mine in half pint mason jars that I left 1/2 inch head space then froze.

For this recipe, I pulled out my mini food processor. I only use the thing about once a month, but I do love having it as one of my very few kitchen gadgets.

We have already used this recipe for my Pesto Pasta Salad and it turned out great! So much better than store bought.

"The leaning tower of Pesto"

I had a bunch of basil left over, and asked my husband what I should do with it... and he said "give it away. I think 6 pints of pesto is enough." lol! I think he is probably right.



Naomid said...

I find my pesto sometimes an icky brown color after I defrost it. I guess more acidity should help. Any thoughts?

Naomid said...

"sometimes is"