Saturday, August 9, 2014

How to Freeze Pesto!

As a child, pesto was this foreign green stuff that looked absolutely disgusting! My eyes judged before I tasted it. It was green, it was all liquidy, it looked weird.

It wasn't until college when pesto was given a chance. The sauce was one of the first cuisine purchased when I moved to Los Angeles. With no experience living away from home, I became a lost puppy. While meandering down a grocery aisle trying to figure out what to buy, a frozen package of noodles and pesto caught my eyes. As soon as I was back at the dorm, I cooked it up. From the first bite to the last, my eyes were opened to the heavenly dish. Oh my word, these taste memories still float in my head. Of course, the whole bag was devoured...and I wonder how those sophomore 20 pounds showed up...

As my taste buds evolved, now homemade pesto is a must! I use fresh basil from the garden. Italian works the best, however, Thai and Opal work well. Word of warning, the Opal basil alone as pesto looks odd, might make a good Halloween dish!

Italian, Thai, and Opal Basil.
You can use any recipe for freezing, but here is the one Mother Judith and I prefer.
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus a little extra
  • 1 cup chopped basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt to taste
Once ingredients are prepared, combine all ingredients in blender, blend until smooth, or you reach desired texture. Stop to scrape sides every once in a while. I don't mind a little lumps in my sauce.


Seriously, pesto is not photogenic.
Once pesto is made, pull out a sheet of wax paper, place on cookie sheet. Scoop heaping tablespoon of pesto and place on wax paper. You will get about eight scoops.

Not the most beautiful thing to photograph...

Stick the cookie sheet in freezer and let set for a day. When pesto is frozen, you will see how easy it is to peel them off. Place all of them in Ziploc bag, release all the air, and freeze until you want to use them! They keep for about a year.
When you want to use them, I found it best to let it thaw in a bowl, then use it. It just makes life easier and quicker!
The great thing about making pesto is the aroma! Washing dishes has never smelled so good!

Hope you find this useful! It's a great way to keep enjoying your summer herbs year round.

Nancy Jane

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