Preservation Technique: Make & Freeze Pesto

I’ve been making a batch of pesto every weekend for the last several weeks so that I’ll have pesto during winter. Eddy and I LOVE pesto. Pasta with pesto, bread with pesto, shrimp pesto pizza…. YUM!

Several years ago, I made a big jar of pesto, thinking that it may last through the winter. Wrong! Eddy and I finished it before the year ended.

Since then, I err on the side of caution and freeze several jars of pesto.

Making pesto is easy. I use the following recipe from Mediterranean Basin Cooking by Santo & Mabel Formica.

  1. In a food processor, add 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 2 cloves garlic, and 2 tbsp. toasted pine nuts.
  2. Blend for 1 minute, then slowly add 1 tightly packed cup of basil leaves; blend for 2 minutes.
  3. Slowly add 1/4 cup grated Parmesan while continuing to blend for an additional minute.

Since I’m a bit lazy, I just pour pesto in a container and freeze. Some people prefer to pour pesto in an ice cube tray to make frozen pesto cubes, which they then place in a freezer bag.

Last weekend, when I was making pesto, I ran out of pine nuts. I thought about moving several thousand pounds of steel, i.e., my car, to get more pine nuts, but instead, I used locally grown pecans that I preserved last year. Guess what? It turned out great! I think I may make basil pecan pesto from now on.

I used the following recipe to make basil pecan pesto:

  1. In a food processor, finely chop 1/2 cup toasted pecans.
  2. Add 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, 1/3 cup Parmesan, 2 garlic cloves, and
  3. 1/2 tsp. sea salt and process.
  4. Slowly add 2/3 cup olive oil in a steady stream and process for about 10 more seconds.

I used basil from Vang Family Farm near Hensley and garlic from Armstead Mountain Farm Near Jerusalem to make both recipes. For basil pecan pesto, I used pecans from Hardin Farm near Grady.

Winter without pesto is a sad affair, so do yourself a favor and make and freeze pesto!


4 responses to “Preservation Technique: Make & Freeze Pesto

  1. Walnuts make great pesto too. The nuts are better if you lightly toast them in the oven for @ ten minutes.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Preservation Technique: Make & Freeze Pesto | GreenAR by the Day --

  3. Wonderful! I love pesto, and I think I’ll try this one.

  4. Thank you, Michael! And, thanks for reading!

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