Friday, July 1, 2011

Freezing Pesto

 Here's my basic set-up for freezing pesto.  Fresh basil leaves, picked off of the stems, extra-virgin olive oil, half-pint freezer boxes, and a food processor.

 I don't prepare the full recipe for pesto at this time.  I just puree the basil in olive oil and freeze.  At serving time, I heat one or two cubes of frozen basil in a double boiler, and add chopped garlic, dried tomatoes, salt and pepper.  I serve Parmesan cheese and walnut pieces at the table to accommodate individual food preferences.  Walnuts make an economical substitute for pine nuts.
 Here's an easy way to save some space in your freezer.  Fill your freezer box just under half way to the fill line
...then, rather than capping each box, stack all of the boxes together, so that the bottom of one box becomes the cover for the box below it. To be sure your box fulls don't stick together, better to fill about 1/4 inch deep so no pesto touches the box above it.
Here I've filled the boxes too full and they ended up stuck together when I went to thaw them out.

Fit a cover snugly on the last box of pesto, and label and date it with a sharpie.

Now bag the entire stack in a plastic bag to ensure adequate protection, and freeze right away.

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