Sunday, September 6, 2009

Making Pesto

Yesterday I headed up to South 47 Farm in Redmond, WA and brought home an $8 bag of fresh basil.
From cooking & baking

The smell alone was worth the trip. Today I turned that basil into pesto for the freezer. I used their pesto recipe (below), with two changes: I substituted sunflower seeds for pine nuts, and I omitted the Parmesan cheese since I planned to freeze the pesto. After defrosting, and before serving, I will add the cheese. I've had plenty success freezing cheeses by themselves after shredding them (mostly cheddar and mozzarella), but I didn't want to risk my pesto batch by freezing a cheese mixture. Anyway, here's their recipe:

2 cups firmly packed fresh basil
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts (I used sunflower seeds)
3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

I washed the basil, after pulling the leaves off their stems, combined everything into my food processor and blended until smooth.
From cooking & baking

From cooking & baking

I bought some Ball plastic freezer containers for the first time, and managed to fill all 5 (they are 8 oz each, so 1 cup) and have enough pesto left over to fill an ice cube tray. I used extra virgin olive oil for about half the pesto I made. I ran out of extra virgin so I used pure olive oil for the remaining pesto. I labeled each freezer container with the type of olive oil used (I am curious to see if I can taste the difference) and instructions about how much cheese to add.
From cooking & baking

From cooking & baking

I can't wait to try out my homemade pesto. While I love pesto, I don't eat it often, as the price at the grocery store can be a deterrent. I plan on using it for pasta, pizza sauce, and anything else I can think of.


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