Mother Earth Living

Freezer Pesto Recipe

This easy-to-store pesto requires only four ingredients before freezing.
By Ken Hoyt
July/August 2010

This easy-to-store pesto requires only four ingredients before freezing.
Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison


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To maximize flavor, make and freeze part of this recipe while basil is at its best, then add the other ingredients just before serving. For more freezable tomato and basil recipes, read the original article, Endless Summer: 3 Recipes for Tomatoes and Basil to Freeze for Later.

Freezer Pesto Recipe

Before freezing:

• 1/3 cup walnuts and/or pine nuts
• 2 cups fresh basil leaves, firmly packed
• 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Toast nuts in a small frying pan over medium-high heat for 1 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Set aside to cool.

2. Place nuts in food processor and pulse 2 or 3 times.

3. Add basil and pulse a few more times. Add lemon juice and pulse again. Add olive oil, a little at a time, while running the processor. Stop after oil is completely added.

4. Scrape down sides and process until pureed.

5. Place mixture into a quart-size freezer bag. Seal bag about 90 percent and press air out, then seal completely. Freeze lying flat. Keeps about 6 months.

Before serving:

• 2 tablespoons (4 to 5 cloves) chopped garlic
• 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Thaw the bag, sealed, in the refrigerator (takes several hours). To thaw more quickly, place the bag in a bowl of warm, not boiling, water (too much heat will turn pesto brown).

2. Scoop sauce into food processor bowl and add garlic, lemon juice and Parmesan.

3. Process until smooth, less than 1 minute. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and/or sea salt.

4. Pulse once or twice before serving. Makes 1 cup of pesto.








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