Monday, June 27, 2011

One, Two, Three Pesto!

This time of year I end up with cups (and cups, and cups) of fresh basil.  One of my most favorite things to do with it, is to make fresh pesto.  I always like to make a large batch and freeze it in a silicone muffin pan.  This recipe comes out great every time and it can be defrosted quickly and used for so many different recipes.

Basil Pesto
To make the Pesto you will need:
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pignolis (aka pine nuts)
3 tablespoons diced garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups good olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Place the walnuts, pignolis, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 30 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. Pulse a few times. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is finely pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Serve, or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.  When I need to use some, just take out the desired number of frozen "discs" and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.  All the work (and mess) is done, so freezing this in large batches can be a huge time saver!

This recipe makes approx 4 cups

Get your kids in the kitchen with you!  My four year old helped me pick off all the basil leaves from the stems and fill up five cups worth.  He also loved using the ice cream scooper to spoon it into the silicone muffin pan to freeze. 

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