(If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.). Thai basil, coriander, lemon grass, mint and ginger go in Asian Pesto. Here is a recipe that we posted a while back Tomato and Basil Chicken Pasta that you might enjoy. To freeze larger amounts of pesto—from 1/2 cup and up—transfer the pesto to a sealable container, cover the surface of the pesto with a thin layer of olive oil, tightly seal the container, and place in the freezer. While you can freeze pesto in full-batch amounts, it is also convenient to freeze pesto in smaller portions to be used as quick flavor-enhancers (without being the full flavor force of the dish)—swirl in soups or stir into salad dressings, or add a dollop to a bowl of rice. Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, How To Preserve Basil – Including A Basil Pesto Recipe, Eating Fresh From The Garden – Harvest Season Is In Full Swing. Roll the spread out leaves in the wax paper. All those tubs of basil-rich pesto available on the supermarket shelves may be convenient, but they can't hold a candle to fresh, homemade pesto made with in-season basil. There are so many creative and delicious ways to incorporate pesto into recipes, beyond simply adding to a bowl of pasta. If you aren’t quite ready to use the basil but need to cut it down, cut each stem leaving at least 2 pairs of leaves per stem. Freeze pesto in lightly oiled ice cube trays – once frozen, remove and store in an air tight container or jar in your freezer. Now, what to do with it all? And our personal favorite – add basil to a slice of a tomato topped with fresh mozzarella cheese,then add a drizzle of olive oil for a fresh summer appetizer. South American pesto is called chimichurri and has ingredients like paprika, cumin and peppers and is used to flavour fish and meat. 2. Lightly oil the front and back of each leaf with olive oil. Keeping Frozen Pesto Green 5. Pinch off the leaves and lay them on a cookie sheet or paper. But don’t worry—you don't have to eat it all at once since pesto freezes beautifully. It is also handy when you need a speedy appetizer, or want to try a simple but impressive recipe for stuffed chicken breasts. Pesto freezes better without the cheese added. By using The Spruce Eats, you accept our, 5 Delicious Ways to Cook Stinging Nettles, 27 Basil Recipes Featuring the Fresh Summer Herb, Dairy-Free Basil Cashew Pesto: Savory Sauces, Satisfying Lunch and Dinner Dishes for Hot Weather, What to Use If You Do Not Have Tomato Sauce. Then transfer the pesto cubes to sealable plastic bags. If you are not going to freeze, or once you have thawed your pesto, proceed to the next step. For truly brilliantly green pesto, you need to start at the beginning: the basil. 1. In a food processor chop basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper for 10 seconds. To freeze small amounts of pesto, put spoonfuls of pesto into ice cube trays and place in the freezer until solid. Whenever you want a little hit of summer basil flavor, just toss a cube or two into the hot dish; or defrost and spread onto sandwiches. *If you are going to freeze the pesto – stop here. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. In addition to adding a layer of olive oil before freezing a large batch of pesto, you can use another trick to help maintain the basil’s bright green hue. To thaw frozen pesto, either place in the refrigerator ahead of time or microwave on the defrost setting, stopping and stirring intermittently. Then transfer the pesto cubes to sealable plastic bags. I’d love to try the butter and basil salt, too! After you make your pesto, and you still have several sprigs of basil left, here are some other ways to maximize the use and preserve your basil for use later in the year. Whenever you want a little hit of summer basil flavor, just toss a cube or two into the hot dish; or defrost and spread onto sandwiches. There are two ways to go about freezing pesto, each with different end-uses. If you planted basil this spring, I am sure that you have personally witnessed it’s immense growth and aroma. Spread them out so they are not piled onto each other. Don’t even think about drying the basil; it will lose all of its flavor and you’ll be stuck with some crumbling, flavorless leaves. Having large amounts of pesto on hand is perfect when you need to throw together a quick dinner, such as tossing with a bowl of pasta or using as a flavorful topping for grilled salmon. *If you are going to freeze the pesto - stop here. Freeze, remove and store in an air tight container. Before whirling the basil leaves in the food processor, give the leaves a quick dunk in boiling water (in other words, blanch it) to "set" its green color that stays, remarkably, a beautiful brilliant green once made into pesto. You can freeze pesto in larger amounts (1/2 to 1 cup) that can be tossed with pasta for a quick dinner, as well as smaller amounts (1 to 2 tablespoons) that can be added to other dishes for a burst of basil pesto summer flavor when the weather turns less warm and sunny. Pulse a few times. Freezing pesto is also super easy. Serve a dollop with grilled vegetables, or change up your typical pizza by featuring pesto as a topping. Freeze in a freezer bag. Leave them for a few days and once dry, crush them (or store the leaves whole) in a Mason jar. Spread whole leaves of basil on a sheet of waxed paper. Make sure to cut your basil before it goes to seed – this will ensure that you receive the maximum flavor from each leaf. Just don’t let your basil go to waste – you will be craving it on those cold winter days. Australians use macadamia nuts. Spanish pesto calls for parsley, olives, garlic and pimentos. Place the stem in lukewarm water without submerging the leaves. Pesto freezes better without the cheese added. An award-winning food writer and cookbook author, Molly Watson has created more than 1,000 recipes focused on local, seasonal ingredients. Garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, salt and freshly ground black to. Without submerging the leaves you planted basil this spring, i am sure that you receive maximum... At Bay Laurel Thai basil, garlic and pimentos those cold winter.! With different end-uses and it can quickly can become large and out of control how to preserve basil pesto! In an air tight container, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper for 10 seconds we posted a back! 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