I’ve been growing fresh basil for at least 5 years now. It is one of the easiest herbs to grow and thrives if you find it a spot it likes. Since I’m heading out of town today I decided I wanted to trim my basil plants and make some pesto. Of course, I froze the pesto to be used upon my return home from Italy.
I’ve learned throughout the years that pesto does not stay fresh for long. I’ve experimented with many different recipes and techniques and found that freezing small amounts of pesto for later use is the best method. The pesto will brown a little during the freezing process; however, once thawed out it will taste just as good as the first day it was made!
I made a quick 4 minute video to teach you just how I make pesto. So if you’ve never made pesto I invite you to watch how easy it is to make!
This recipe was originally posted on July 6, 2010.
Katie Original Recipe
- 3 cups fresh basil leaves packed
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup pine nuts
- 1 medium sized garlic clove
- Salt & pepper to taste
- In a small frying pan add pine nuts to the pan and toast until golden brown, but not burnt!
- In a food processor add the whole garlic cloves and a drizzle of olive oil. Puree for 10 seconds. Then add the basil and pine nuts to your food processor. Puree for an additional 10-15 seconds.
- Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Start scooping out pesto and placing it into the individual ice slots. Make sure the pesto is packed down to the bottom of the tray. You do not need to grease the pan since the basil has olive oil in it which will act as the grease to get it out. One batch of Basil Pesto should fill one ice cub tray. Freeze for one hour uncovered, then pop the cubes of pesto out, and store in a freezer proof bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.