June 30, 2012


I make batches of pesto every week or so through July and August. It is super simple; the most time-consuming thing is destemming and giving a good wash to the basil leaves. After that it's just blending a handful of ingredients in the food processor. We always, always, freeze it in ice cube trays. Then, once frozen (or more honestly, once it's been sitting in the freezer in ice cube trays for weeks...), we pop the cubes out and place them into a large freezer bag, where they store beautifully for a year or more. Usually ours don't last that long, though we always make sure a portion of our supply from the previous season lasts until my son's birthday in late June, since he always requests gnocchi with homemade pesto for dinner. We love having pesto cubes in the freezer to defrost one or several at a time. Pesto is delicious on pasta, of course (we defrost about 10 cubes or a little more for a pound of pasta), but also on a grilled cheese sandwich (one cube per sandwich), a caprese sandwich, on boiled potatoes, on pizza, in omelets, and so much more. 

Just-picked basil in salad spinner
from The Gourmet Cookbook

3 large garlic cloves
1/2 C pine nuts
2/3 C coarsely grated Parmesan
1 t salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
3 C loosely packed fresh basil leaves
2/3 C e-v olive oil

Put all but oil in food processor. Process until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil, blending until incorporated but not completely smooth.

Use immediately, or refrigerate up to a week with surface covered in plastic wrap. (It WILL turn a darker green/brown in fridge almost immediately, but it is still fresh and fine to eat; just stir or scoop off the top layer if it bothers you.) Or do as we do and freeze in ice cube trays then store in freezer bags to use throughout the year as desired.

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