Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pesto

Every spring I plant basil in my herb garden, and every fall I use it to make enough homemade pesto to last us through the winter. Pesto is really easy to make, and over the years I've discovered a couple techniques for making a delicious green pesto that freezes beautifully.


The recipe I use is adapted from two recipes. I basically start by following this recipe from Martha Stewart, but then follow the directions for this one.


  • Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (or walnuts)
  • 6 cups packed fresh basil leaves (about 5 ounces by weight before washing)
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

Directions

1. Spread nuts evenly on a baking sheet and toast in oven at 350° until golden and fragrant, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.


2. (This next step is what prevents the pesto from turning brown in the freezer. If you don't plan to freeze the pesto, or don't mind if it turns brown, feel free to skip this step.) Bring 4 cups salted water to a boil, add basil, and submerge with a spoon. Drain immediately. Rinse with cold water until cool, then drain in a salad spinner or pat with paper towels to to remove as much water as possible.

3. In a food processor, combine nuts, basil, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Process until nuts are finely chopped. With machine running, pour oil in a steady stream through the feed tube and process until smooth. Add parmesan and pulse to combine. 


4. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. This recipe makes enough to fill two ice cube trays (roughly 2 1/2 cups total). Once frozen, the cubes can be stored in a Ziploc freezer bag.

5. Thaw 3-4 cubes (for every 2 adults) in a large bowl, and mix with warm pasta. Pesto also makes a great pizza sauce, sandwich spread, and seasoning for vegetables!

3 comments:

  1. Hi! new to following you :) Such a lovely blog! I love your herb garden so lucky, I truly need to try my hand at this! Looks and sounds yum!
    www.yourcharmedlifeblog.com

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  2. This is such a good reminder for me to take care of my own basil! This year WILL be the year that I actually freeze some for winter. Finally. : ) Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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