Pesto for the freezer

pesto

Summer was late arriving and late leaving this year !  Its finally starting to cool down in mid-November, so my basil is still in massive bushy lovliness….  I have enough in the freezer to brighten up any winter dish this coming season, and am giving bunches to whoever will take it, to not let it go to waste (well into the compost heap).  Its wonderful for pasta dishes or stirred into vegetable soup (pistou they call that in France which is pesto without the nuts or cheese).

This is my favourite recipe, but to be honest is is really “pliable”.   I often change the type of nuts (or sometimes even sunflower or pumpkin seeds), sometimes I add parsley, sometimes just basil. Why not mint ? Must try that soon ….

basilBasilbushy

Little zip lock bags …. Genious ! Perfect size to use in a dish for 4 and they take up no room at all in the freezer.

The thing about making pesto ahead is that it oxidized (loses its vibrant colour). This doesn’t effect the taste but if you are planning on using the pesto raw, then I suggest making it fresh so it stays “pretty” !  So now that I have tons of the stuff, what great things do YOU do with pesto ?

pestobags

Pesto

  • Servings: loads & loads
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  • 1/2 cup walnuts or hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup grated aged sheeps milk cheese (or pecorino)
  • 20 lovely basil leaves (I often add loads more)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup good quality olive oil

Place all ingredients in a food processor or chopper and pulse until finely chopped.  I sometimes do this in a blender, using more olive oil for another texture, different but just as nice !

Use immediately or double / triple the recipe and freeze in re-sealable bags or even ice cube trays …

(inspired by Umberto Menghis book Toscana Mia, but adapted to my regional ingredients)

Bon appetît !