I went on a whole pesto freezing kick due to the abundance of fresh basil in my garden. I couldn’t bear to waste it! I made jars and jars of pesto to freeze for a rainy day and even froze some individual portions for sauce in a pinch. Here’s how to freeze pesto.
What You’ll Need
Basil, pine nuts, olive oil, parmesan or pecorino cheese, jars and/or ice cube trays. You always need more basil than you think. This heaping mound makes a double batch of pesto. Thoroughly rinse the basil and leave it to dry between paper towels after squeezing most of the moisture out. I like to do this a couple of hours before I make pesto.
Step one: Make my pesto recipe!
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pecorino cheese
- Process basil, pine nuts, and gloves in a food processor. Stream in olive oil. Season to your liking, then stir in cheese and serve immediately.
It has perfect proportions and I can already tell you that it freezes and thaws beautifully. Some people say not to add cheese. Some people say to put a layer of oil on top. I have not found either to be necessary. Just make my pesto exactly as the recipe says. A food processor comes in handy here. Mine easily fits a double batch of pesto at once.
P.S. This was a busy day at The Rose Table! If you’re wondering about the loaves, they’re Pumpkin Loaves. Get the recipe here.
Use a glass jar that’s specifically made for canning. The tempered glass freezes much nicer. Don’t fill the jar all the way to the top. Leave about half an inch of room. Put the lid on and seal it tight. It will keep in the freezer for up to six months. Just thaw in the fridge overnight. It’s that simple!
Ice Cube Trays
One fun idea is to pour about a tablespoon of pesto in each cup of an ice cube tray for individual servings. Freeze overnight, then pop the pesto out and put all of the pesto cubes in a freezer bag to store long term. These thaw super fast! Just take one or a couple cubes out of the freezer, place in a sandwich bag, and put the bag in water to thaw in an hour. It’s perfect if you want to top chicken or fish with a bit of pesto for unexpected company without thawing a whole jar.
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