So this pesto was made last year. Doesn’t it look so fresh? I have a few secrets, that I’ll share with you.
First, use tons of fresh basil. If it’s from your garden, even better.
Second, line an ice tray with plastic wrap. Put spoon-fulls of pesto in each ice-cube spot. Cover with plastic wrap. When they are frozen, put all the cute little pockets of pesto in a zip lock bag. Grab the ‘ice’ when you need them.
Lastly, don’t mix in the cheese until you are ready to use it. Cheese and fresh pesto = not so good pesto.
So the ice tray trick is great. Now you don’t have to thaw a whole batch of pesto and only use a tablespoon and then throw it back into the freezer. Genius, I know.
Giada De Laurentiis’ Everyday Italian cookbook is great for the basics. I use her pesto recipe but change it a bit.
- 2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup raw or roasted almonds – no salt
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- About 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
*note, there isn’t a lot of salt added, because the Parmesan that you will add later is salty to the max.
1. In a blender or Cuisinart, pulse the basil, almonds, garlic, salt and pepper until finely chopped.
2. With the blender/Cuisinart on, gradually add enough oil to form a smooth thick consistency.
3. And you are done. Add to plastic lined ice trays or put into a bowl for 2 days, covered in the refrigerator.
*Remember to add 1/2 freshly grate Parmesan cheese when you are ready to use.