2 Down the Lane

2 Down the Lane

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Basil and Pesto


As much as I cook, I have never made pesto. Probably because I don’t like it and I never had really good luck growing basil.  This year, I found a basil plant reduced for quick sale (you know me) and stuck it in a pot at the back door.  Well, the moon must have been right, I held my mouth right when I planted it – or something -- any way, it is doing well.  Very well---so, I decided to make pesto. 


I had decided that if someone gave me enough vegetables to can or to freeze, I would put it all up for the winter.    I have canned green beans, pickles, blackberry jelly, peach jam, pepper jelly, frozen tomato sauce, shredded zucchini for bread, frozen yellow squash and frozen corn. I even made miniature peach pies (I got that recipe here from StoneGable—love this blog!!!)  I want to get at least one batch of vegetable soup made and in the freezer, too. 

You know we all go to the internet these days and look for recipes.  I have read blogs over the summer and of course, watched Ina Garten, Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray at times over the years make it on television. 

So, I sat down this morning and decided this was a good thing to get the blog going again---


I combined several recipes that I read and this is the one that I made.  Actually, the ingredients are all the same it was the amount and in some cases a technique. Every place said to freeze in ice cube trays but somewhere along the line of doing research this summer, I came across the idea of freezing in small muffin tins.  (I am sorry I wish I could give credit where credit is due---but, I truly don’t remember where I saw this.)  I did try Everyday Food’s idea about dropping the basil in salted boiling water and then dumping it in cold—drying it off.  It would have been great to have had one of those salad spinners (had one but sold it at a yard sale.) Their comment was that since it was to be frozen that the basil would keep it’s color better. I read all sorts of ideas about freezing pesto with the parmesan cheese and without.  I looked up freezing parmesan cheese and learned that it is okay especially if you are going to use it to cook with and not eat it fresh.  The average time to keep it in the freezer is 4-6 months. So, I decided to make two batches.  One today and one when my basil recovers a little.  Today’s batch was made with the Parmesan cheese.


Oh, if you don’t make it with the cheese, the overall consensus was to add the cheese when you thaw it.   Should I say, Duh, here?  I will let it stay in the freezer covered at least until in the morning and then throw it in a zipper bag and MARK it (learned my lesson, once too many times) PESTO!!!



1 bulb of garlic

6 cups of basil leaves (washed)

1 cup toasted walnuts
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

In a food processor bowl, place the peeled garlic and process until finely minced.  Add the nuts, basil, salt and pepper, cheese and whiz until everything is finely chopped.  While the processor is running add the olive oil in a slow stream. Put about a 1 1/2 tablespoon amount in each small muffin cup.  Freeze. Put in marked zipper bag and store for 4-6 months. 


How am I going to use the pesto?  In soup, pasta, as an appetizer with crostini and mozzarella –we will see won’t we? 

Oh, and a PS.  I read this summer to cut your basil and stick in water and it will root very quickly.  So, I am trying that so I should have another harvest before it gets too cold here to grow. 

Have a good day and  See you in a few!!


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