Presto Pesto! An Easy Pesto Recipe

Whip up this pesto and then freeze it to enjoy fresh basil taste all year long.

Bountiful Basil Harvest

Bountiful Basil Harvest

Turn your basil harvest into a delicious pesto you can use throughout the year, by freezing.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Sam Henderson

Image courtesy of Sam Henderson

As the memory of summer fades and cooler temperatures arrive, we say goodbye to our outdoor basil. If you are looking for a way to keep that amazing pesto around for the winter months, you may want to consider freezing it. These simple steps will have you in the ‘green’ in no time… and the ‘you’ enjoying home grown pesto pasta in January will thank the ‘you’ that took the time to freeze it now.

We’ve included our favorite pesto recipe, but you can use your own if you wish.

Basic Basil Pesto

The ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup good extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

The method:

  1. In a food processor, grind nuts and garlic for about 20 seconds.
  2. Add basil, salt, and pepper.  Chop again until basil is finely chopped.
  3. While food processor is still going slowly pour in olive oil until paste begins to form.
  4. Add Parmesan cheese.  Give just a few more pulses to incorporate.

Make that pesto last with this step-by-step guide to making frozen pesto cubes:

Frozen Pesto Cubes How-To

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Bountiful Basil Harvest

Turn your basil harvest into a delicious pesto you can use throughout the year, by freezing.

Photo By: Image courtesy of Sam Henderson

Place Freshly Made Pesto in the Ice Cube Tray

You will need a completed recipe of your favorite pesto, an ice cube tray, a cookie scoop (optional), plastic wrap, freezer storage bag, and a drinking straw. Make your favorite pesto recipe and use it to fill an ice cube tray. Tip: use a medium cookie scoop for consistent serving sizes.

Seal Pesto Before Freezing

Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pesto to prevent oxidation. You'll need a piece about twice the length of the tray. Wrap the entire tray with another piece of plastic wrap. Place the ice tray in the freezer and freeze completely.

Place Pesto Cubes in a Storage Bag

Remove the pesto cubes from the tray and place them in a single layer in a freezer storage bag.

Removing Air Before Freezing

Place a straw inside the bag all the way to one side with one end out of the bag. Seal the bag as close to the straw as possible. Use the straw to remove as much air from the bag as possible. Pull the straw out and seal up the last small bit. Removing the air will help prevent oxidation so your pesto stays fresh. Return the bag to the freezer and remove cubes as needed for 3-4 months. Use the straw to remove the air from the bag each time after you open it.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Enjoy frozen pesto for months to come when you have a supply on hand in the freezer.

Photo By: Image courtesy of Sam Henderson

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