Saturday, August 28, 2010

Homemade freezer basil pesto

While cleaning out our freezer (there's no room for ice cream right now. SOB.) I realize we are running low on our pesto. A reminder it is time for our late summer ritual. A daughter is allergic to nuts, so we began making our own pine nut-less pesto.

First, you blanch the basil leaves (a great job for kiddies but if you're working with mass quantities you fingers will go green) -- a quick dunk in boiling water -- to decrease the amount of oxidation. I like my pesto to stay pretty :) You can also add citric acid (in the food processor) for an easier alternative. Drain, blot, and or squeeze to remove excess water (or use a salad spinner for larger quantities). Sometimes I save a unblanched leaves to dehydrate in the over for dried basil. You could use blanched ones, but it is a pain to separate them.

In a food processor bowl, add a handful or two (about a cup), a handful of parmesan cheese, a couple cloves of garlic, olive oil (a quarter cup to start) and a couple tablespoons of toasted pine nuts. Pulse until finely chopped; it should be fairly chunky. Add salt and pepper (and more cheese) to taste.

For long term storage, spoon into ice trays (you can pre measure them to better estimate the volume. Mine are about 1.5 tablespoons). After they are filled, whack the tray on the counter to remove air bubbles.

When frozen, pop them out and wrap them in foil; individually or meal size (for our taste buds, three cubes are enough for a pound of pasta). The foil prevents ice forming on the outside.

Pack into ziplock freezer bags and quick dinners are just minutes away :) When ready to use, thaw and thin out with olive oil, butter, or cream/milk. Enjoy!


Suzzi said...

Thanks for this - been looking for how to make this and freeze. One question from you - how long can it be frozen for?

I appreciate it and thanks for sharing (again).

Have a great day.

blissful said...

It can last up to a year (it's usually earlier than that!). It uses less olive oil than traditional recipes.

Enjoy : Thanks for visiting.