Sunday, September 19, 2021

What's Going in the Freezer: Pesto

Fresh pesto is oh-so-delicious and easy to freeze!


Freezer Basil Pesto || A Less Processed Life

It's the end of summer, and I can't be the only one with a gangbuster crop of basil in the garden. Last year I waited one day too late to make pesto (darn autumn frost!). But this year I stocked up on pine nuts early and over the weekend I set to work making multiple batches of basil pesto.
 
Freezer Basil Pesto || A Less Processed Life

Some of the pesto went into the fridge to use immediately and the rest went into the freezer. Pro tip: cheese doesn't always freeze that well, so if you plan to freeze your pesto, omit the parmesan and add it after it has thawed and ready to serve.

Freezer Basil Pesto || A Less Processed Life


To thaw frozen pesto, either place it in the fridge to thaw completely, or thaw it in the microwave using the defrost setting, stirring every so often. You can also warm it on the stovetop, stirring occasionally to reheat evenly. 

Basil Pesto
makes about 2 cups

4 ounces pine nuts
4 cups fresh basil
4 garlic cloves
1 cup coarsely grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup olive oil
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

1. Toast the pine nuts in a medium skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. Add the basil, garlic, parmesan, and pine nuts to the bowl of a food processor. Process for 30-45 seconds, or until the ingredients are all finely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
3. With the food processor on, slowly pour in the olive oil. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to help ensure all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.
4. To refrigerate: Spoon the pesto into a large jar and top with a thin layer of olive oil. Cover with a tight lid. Best if used within one week.
5. To freeze: Spoon the pesto into an ice cube tray. Place a layer of plastic wrap over the top of the tray, and lightly press onto each serving of pesto. Once the pesto has frozen, you can pop the cubes out of the tray and store in a freezer bag. Frozen pesto is best used within three months. 


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