Freezing Pesto for Winter Use

At the end of summer I am always faced with gigantic basil plants in the herb garden which I want to make into pesto.  The challenge was to find a way to preserve it over the winter, so we could enjoy it year round without buying the oil laden, often bitter offering at the supermarket.  I have found that it freezes quite well.  I cut back on the olive oil and leave out the cheese, adding it back after I thaw the pesto.  While I don’t think it’s good enough to just thaw and use as a dip, it adds its spicy deliciousness to many cooked dishes such as rice, pasta and potatoes.   Just drop in a “cupcake” of it when the dish is nearly done, so it warms up but doesn’t cook too much.

Pesto for the Freezer                                                                                          

One or two of these pesto "cupcakes" brings summer to ordinary rice.

One or two of these pesto “cupcakes” brings summer to ordinary rice.

  • 4 cups packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 Cup Pignoli nuts
  • 6 cloves garlic (because it loses some flavor by freezing)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • enough olive oil to make it hang together

Process in a food processor, adding oil through the top until it holds together.

 I make a huge batch (food processors make this job a breeze) then spoon it into mini-cupcake papers which I freeze in a mini-muffin tin.  Once frozen, I store them in a plastic bag until needed.  The meal below is salmon filet with dill mayonnaise glaze, what is probably the last of our Brussels sprouts (fresh from the garden), rice with pesto and a salad of pear, sunflower seeds and a toasted round of panko dredged goat cheese.

IMG_0458

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Peg said,

    The Sapsucker photo is great! Such a beauty! Thanks for sharing.
    Peg

    Like

  2. 2

    Mary said,

    Yum!

    Like


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