Pesto is by far one of my favorite things to make and probably eat. Beyond being incredibly easy it is also super versatile you can pair it with pasta, salad, fish and so much more. My mother has been making the same pesto recipe my whole life and now I too make it for my family. I typically do a large batch of pesto when I find a good deal on basil, and divide it up into silicone ice cube trays to freeze. The pesto cubes can be kept in the freezer for a couple months and easily defrosted when needed.
– INGREDIENTS –
– ½ cup pine nuts
– 4 cups of fresh basil
– 1 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
– 4 cloves of garlic
– 2 tsp. kosher salt
– 2 tbsp. olive oil, if you plan to freeze (4 tbsp. if making fresh)
– In a small saucepan toast pine nuts over medium heat until golden brown on both side
– Heat water in a small pot placing garlic in once boiling, and remove garlic after 30-45 seconds immediately placing in a cold water bath to cool. Blanching will help preserve the quality of the garlic if you are going to freeze the pesto for a couple months, but you can skip this step if you are making fresh pesto
– Take basil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, cooled garlic, salt and oil in food processor and pulse until combined.
– Add more oil and salt as needed. Pesto consistency should be smooth if serving fresh and smooth but dryer paste consistency if you are freezing, since oil will be added later when you defrost the pesto cube(s)
– If serving fresh add to your dish, but if you are freezing divide pesto up into silicone ice cube trays and freeze until you need. Pop a cube out and place in ramekin on counter with a tsp. of oil an hour before using. Cubes will keep in freezer for 2-3 months
– To pop the cubes out individually I have found silicone ice cube trays to work the best thanks to the flexibility of the tray/cubes. If it doesn’t come with a cover seal the tray in a gallon Ziploc bag
– If you forget to take the cube(s) out of the freezer with enough time to defrost before using I would recommend placing the ramekin of pesto and oil near or even on the stove to heat up slowly. When heated in the microwave the pesto tends to clump because of the cheese
– I am not a huge fan of the pine nut flavor so this recipe is light on the pine nuts, but if you love them by all means add another 1/4 cup!