Tuesday, August 23, 2011


The heat of the summer is upon us (heck, the heat of the summer has been here a.l.l. s.u.m.m.e.r. l.o.n.g.).  One of the pleasant things about the end of summer is harvesting a crop of basil and stashing next year's pesto!  (This year's heat has resulted in a modest basil crop. [insert grumbles])

Making fresh pesto and stashing it in the freezer for the winter is a snap.  You only need a few supplies.  (If you want a recipe, you can find a simple recipe here.  If you want to buy the book (it is great), please consider visiting a local, independent bookstore before "clicking".)

First, wash and spin dry the basil.

Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet.  When I toast pine nuts, I usually cover the bottom the skillet and put the leftovers in the freezer for pasta and breads.

Gather your supplies and ingredients.  I add fresh lemon juice to my pesto to help retain color.  I squeeze it through a fine mesh strain directly into the food processor.

If you need lemon zest for something else, harvest it before juicing the lemon.  I have found that lemons stored in the refrigerator produce a higher juice yield.

After the ingredients have been added to the food processor (basil, toasted pine nuts, fresh garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice), add about 1/2 of the recommended olive oil.  Process, taking time to scrape down the sides and add more olive oil until you have the proper consistency.

I prefer pesto for freezing to be slightly thicker in viscosity than if I were planning on using it immediately.  The consistency will change when it is thawed.  I add oil after thawing to achieve the desired viscosity for my application.

I freeze pesto in ice cube trays.  It is important to note:  DO NOT ADD CHEESE to the pesto before freezing.  Cheese is added to the pesto after thawing.  The cheese will not freeze well.

Once frozen, pop out of trays and store in a zip top freezer bag.

Frozen pesto cubes are also great to throw into red sauce.

So simple!  (and wonderful - all year round)

Recently off the needles:

Back in June, I shared a recent handspun.  It has now turned into -
A Rain Drop stole.  (US 9 needles)

Before blocking.

On the pins.  (Sorry for the craptastic lighting.  The cat REALLY wanted back on the bed, so I was hurrying.  Hey, she's 20 yrs old.  She has earned the right to be pushy at times.)  This is stretched on a queen size bed.

No comments:

Post a Comment