Friday, August 6, 2010

Homemade Basil Pesto - It's Easy!

Today we are making homemade Basil Pesto

Ok, go on out into your potager and pick a big old basketful of basil and parsley.  You are going to need about 4 cups packed of basil and about 1/2 cup packed of parsley, so fill that basket up!

Now, I know how we all love our Caprese salads with fresh basil and home grown tomatoes, but what will we do in the middle of the winter, when we want that fresh garden taste?  That, is why we are making basil today.

We we finish making it, we are going to freeze itThen, in the middle of the cold winter, we are going to pull it out of the freezer and use it in a comforting pasta dish.

O.K....Ready?  Gather your ingredients.
You will need:

4 cups packed basil leaves
1/2 cup packed Italian parsley leaves
2-4 Cloves of garlic
Zest of a lemon
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
sea salt to taste
fresh cracked pepper to taste

Place the basil, parsley, peeled garlic cloves, toasted pine nuts, salt and pepper in a food processor.  Pulse until well blended.  It will look like the picture below.

Next, with lid on, drizzle olive oil in slowly while processor is running.  It will now look like the picture below.

Place the pesto into a large bowl and then add the Parmesan and Romano cheeses and fold them into the mixture. Note: You don't want to add the cheese into the processor, because the blades of the processor can heat up the cheese and start to melt it and you could end up with a gooey mess.

When thoroughly mixed, place by spoonful into ice cube trays.  Freeze until solid, then remove from trays and place in a Ziploc freezer bag and place back into the freezer.

This winter, you will be able to put out one or two cubes of pesto at a time and add to pasta, sauteed fish, put it under the skin of a chicken breast and roast, spread a toasted baguette with cream cheese and drizzle pesto on top.  Add to soups and so much more.
Welcome Home,
Penny

40 comments:

susan said...

Penny-I do love this! Love the idea of freezing it in the ice cube trays. I just finished making panzanella salad and my whole kitchen smells like basil--big smile. Looks like you had a good crop :)

Pondside said...

Mmmm - I can just about smell that - wonderful!

Snappy Di said...

What a great idea! Who would'a thunk?

Di

Kim said...

Honey I am SO gonna bookmark this post! I will never remember all of those wonderful ideas for pesto! Thanks Penny! Have a wonderful weekend.
xoxo,
Kim

Mary said...

Wow! Does that ever look good. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I guess I will have to go to our local Farmers Market to get some fresh herbs so I can also have that fresh taste in the winter. You are a great motivator. Thanks.

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

What a great idea. Now all I need is a garden and some basil and parsley. I love pesto.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I know your house smelled wonderful today! What a great idea to freeze it in cubes! YUMMY! ♥

Rhondi said...

Hi Penny
You are lucky to have so much basil in your garden. Homemade pesto is so delicious! Your photos are great too!
Hugs, Rhondi

Jeralee said...

I LOVE Pesto.... Yum. We just had pesto on some penne pasta two nights ago! It is my 10 year old's favorite sauce for pasta and is so easy to put together for a quick meal.

You homemade pesto looks oh so tasty.

Tales From My Empty Nest said...

I love to make pesto too! It is so good. I freeze mine in ice cube trays and it is so easy to use for cooking. We love to use it in pasta dishes. Love & blessings from NC!

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

What a great idea Penny! I wish I had that much basil....actually I have none. I planted seedlings and they didn't make it. Maybe the farmer's market??~Hugs, Patti

Nancy said...

Looks fantastic Penny. That is a great idea to use the ice cube tray to freeze small amounts.

Beverly said...

Penny, you're so smart.

This will make you laugh, but the ice cube tray technique is what I used to make food for my son when he was a baby. He never ate anything from a baby food jar.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

You are so clever to be freezing pesto. Great idea to use the ice cube trays. Anything with fresh basil is fantastic.
Sam

Mary said...

....well I never thought to freeze mine in ice cube trays, such a good idea! I put it into small plastic tubs. They do take up a lot of freezer space, plus defrosting a tub takes longer. I usually end up throwing some out because there's too much and it gets pushed to the back of the 'frig and forgotten, and when discovered looks too dark to eat!!

Great pics and looks fabulous - I've yet to make some this season.

I'll get that soup recipe to you soon Penny. Happy weekend.
Hugs - Mary

Penny said...

Wonderful idea Penny. I will give it a try! Love all of your pictures.
Hugs,
Penny

Donna said...

What a coincidence ~ I was just thinking this morning...what am I going to do with all this basil? This is a great idea, Penny. Thanks!

Hugs,
Donna

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Penny this is exactly how I make my pesto! Your photos are wonderful ..magazine quality!

I love having a supply of pesto all year long!

Dena said...

Penny, that sounds so good! I absolutely love fresh basil, but alas, I have never been successful at growing it. I can just imagine it spread on a baguette in the winter. Now that I've said that, I want some now!

Hugs,
Dena

Sue said...

OMG This is going to be so easy to make! My best friend is letting me harvest her garden while she is on vacation and I am so going to pick the basil and make this pesto. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Penny!
:-) Sue

jayayceeblog said...

I have an absolute basil addiction but have been buying it in jars. I have to get a nice pot of basil growing and do this for myself soon. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Kathleen Grace said...

I always freeze pesto for the winter, nothing tastes better tossed with some pasta or topping a burger than the summery taste of basil and cheese:>)

Bella said...

I am absolutely loving this!! I have basil everywhere and have been looking for a good pesto recipe to freeze. Thanks so much for posting! Have a lovely weekend!

Catherine Holman said...

Yummy! I like the ice cube tray idea. Are these herbs fresh from your new garden?

Sue said...

Hi Penny...what a great idea freezing in the ice cube trays...this is the first year I actually have a plant that didn't die and is huge so I think pesto making is in my future...thanks for the recipe! Sue

gena said...

Oh yummmy ! I made bruschetta with our fresh basil tonight - but there's always next week !

Thanks for sharing,
gena
www.thehouseonlavenderhill.blogspot.com

Karen June Miller said...

Can this be done in a Vita Mix blender? I have been wanting to do this.

Thanks,
KJ

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

Penny that looks delicious! I love pesto, thanks for sharing your recipe.

Sherri said...

Penny your Pesto looks marvelous! I have heard of this way to freeze it and I think it is ingenious! Enjoy!

M.Kate said...

Thank you for the recipe. Pesto is not eaten a lot here but I do like it and will try to prepare. happy week ahead Penny..hugs :O)

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Don'cha just love your food processor? I have had mine for about five years and just pulled it out the other day and used it! WHAT a revelation. (hope I'm spelling words right. It's the dead of night and I can't sleep and getting a bit dingy!) Like that's something new!! LOL
Hugs,
Mona

see you there! said...

Great pesto post. I do add the cheese after taking it out of the processor but I do it because I like the texture of the grated cheese and didn't want it "processed". I never thought of it melting.

Learned something new!

Darla

Mimi Sue said...

Love pesto and we do have a big crop of it this year. Thanks for the recipe. Mimi

Damaris said...

YYUUMM!! Thank YOU!! XXOO, Damaris

bj said...

bwaaaaa...I don't have a potager...but...I CAN go to the veggie market and buy some fresh basil and parsley. You are SO smart to use ice cube trays...hey, wait...bwaaaaa, I don't HAVE ice cube trays. Oh, what am I going to do? Wonder if you can still buy them in Walmart? ANYway, I am going to make this. We would just LOVE it during the winter.
This is what I like to do with fresh fruits, too. Freeze and make jelly in December or January. Wonderful !!

bj said...

bwaaaaa...I don't have a potager...but...I CAN go to the veggie market and buy some fresh basil and parsley. You are SO smart to use ice cube trays...hey, wait...bwaaaaa, I don't HAVE ice cube trays. Oh, what am I going to do? Wonder if you can still buy them in Walmart? ANYway, I am going to make this. We would just LOVE it during the winter.
This is what I like to do with fresh fruits, too. Freeze and make jelly in December or January. Wonderful !!

Daisy Cottage said...

Oh how cool is this idea! Love it Penny! You are the best cook!!!

Sarah said...

Penny, thanks for this great idea. I love pesto! ~ Sarah

Becky said...

Oh what lovely smell I can smell it now.I love this especially on spaghetti.I will jot this down, thanks for sharing.Im a new follower as well.

Heather said...

This looks so delicious! I am going to have to try it.

Blessings,
Heather:)