Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Homemade Pesto

This week in our area, the temperatures have been hovering just above freezing each night. I figured that I better pull out my basil before I go out and it is black from being frozen! This is a wonderful recipe to use up the extra basil in your garden.


1 cup fresh grated Parmesan
1/2 cup shelled pinenuts
1 clove garlic
2 TB olive oil
Large handful of basil
Kosher salt
1/4-1/2 tsp lemon juice (to preserve color)

Wash and remove basil leaves from stems.

Put Parmesan, pinenuts, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and basil in food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. While food processor is running, slowly add olive oil to incorporate.

Put in containers to freeze.

Put plastic wrap over pesto, pressing wrap into it. This helps prevent ice crystals in the freezer.

Label and Freeze!

This is wonderful on pasta, fish or chicken dishes. Yummy on chicken-artichoke panini's, in tomato soups, and anything that calls for basil. Freezes well.

  1. If you wash your basil and cannot use it right away, pat dry with towel. Then, wrap in paper towels and place in ziplok bag. Get as much air out as possible. Will keep for a couple of days this way in the fridge.
  2. Flash freeze in ice cube trays. Once frozen, place pesto cubes in double ziplok bag (or even better, use a food saver to get all air out). Just remove however many cubes you need.
  3. If using frozen pesto, the consistency will be slightly thicker. Thin with pasta water to desired consistency.
  4. You can substitute spinach and flat leaf parsley for some of the basil. You can also use any type of nut instead of pinenuts. I think the pinenuts add the best flavor however.

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