I love basil; it smells unbelievably like summer. Every year, I grow too much basil; and every year, I try to pack in as much pesto and basil-y type lunches and dinners as I can. So far, this summer in the Pacific Northwest has been quite nice–mostly in the high 70s to mid 80s. I get grumpy when it’s too hot, (and for me, upper 80s and beyond is too hot), so for me, I live in the perfect climate. The tomatoes in my garden have yet to grow, but at least my basil is prolific.
One of the best things about pesto is not only is it super easy to make, but it freezes really well. I have placed the pesto in ice-cube trays to freeze, but I found this small, 1-inch silicone tray works really well. Plus, it has the perfect proportions and it’s easy to pop out once it’s frozen. (Regular plastic ice-cube trays do work, but silicone ones are super easy getting out food once it’s frozen.)
Once the pesto is frozen, pop out the squares and place in a freezer bag. When you are ready to use, just thaw out in the fridge (or microwave at 50% power for 20 seconds or so). This way, you can have homemade pesto throughout the fall and winter. I love to use this pesto recipe with caprese grilled cheese and pesto chicken sandwiches. You could make a pot of hot pasta and place a little pesto in it and mix until the pesto is incorporated. Add a splash of lemon juice and top with parmesan cheese, and you have dinner. Hope you’re having a great week. Enjoy! xoxo
4 T walnuts
2 t minced garlic
4 T olive oil
½ c grated fresh Parmesan cheese
4 cups fresh basil leaves
¼ t salt
In a food processor, mince walnuts and garlic. Pulse until finely chopped. Add oil and pulse 3 times. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until finely processed.
NOTE: This recipe doubles really well.
To freeze: Place in a freezer Ziploc bag. Or, place in a silicone ice tray and freeze. Once frozen, pop out and place in freezer bag. The pesto will store in the freezer up to 6 months.
To refrigerate: Place in a container and using plastic wrap, press gently on top of pesto (this prevents browning). The pesto will store well in the fridge up to 5 days.
Recipe Source: slightly adapted from Cooking Light