Tag Archives: pesto

Unfreeze your Pesto!!

Just to make these really quick, for your pals:I don’t know why, but I was calling them party pops. Two kinds!!

Ingredients needed:

  • Un-frozen pesto you made the other day(right!?)
  • 1 container of cherry or grape tomatoes (mine were from my CSA)
  • 1 container of mozzarella balls (not soaking in oil)
  • A few fresh basil leaves
  • Italian seasoning
  • Tiny bit of olive oil
  • Kosher salt
Directions:
1. Split the containers of tomatoes and mozzarella balls into two separate bowls so each bowl has an equal amount of mozzarella balls + tomatoes.
2. In bowl one, add pesto to the tomatoes and mozzarella balls, mix well.
3. In bowl two, add a tiny bit of olive oil, dash of kosher salt, and shake of Italian seasoning.
4. From the pesto bowl, skew one mozzarella ball and one tomato on per stick.
5. From bowl #2, skew a mozzarella ball, then a basil leaf, then a tomato per toothpick…and repeat.
So easy, and secretly fancy.

Pesto

By now, your basil plant is probably growing like a weed. Mine was…

…until I decided to make delicious pesto.

I have made pesto a ton of times, but it never turned out as good as my parents use to make. It turned out I never seemed to put the simple ingredients in the food processor at the right time until I saw this video.

I found a good recipe from Ina Garten, so I’ll modify it a bit. As far as ingredients go, I use whats listed below, but I don’t measure anything.

Pesto: The Ingredients (adapted-ish from Ina Garten)

  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (I use raw)
  • 3 tablespoons garlic
  • 5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • just enough  good olive oil that the pesto is smooth
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Squeeze of lemon to taste
Directions:

1. Drop the garlic in the food processor and pulse til it’s tiny.

2. Add the nuts, pulse till they are tiny.

3. Add the basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and pulse just so they are mixed up a bit.

4. Stream in some olive oil. Just enough so that it’s at the consistency you want it… but not enough so that it’s gross and oily.

5. Add the parmesan and puree for one minute.

6. Taste it, and if you need more of something (lemon, salt, etc), add it! 

The next step is to PUT THE PESTO AWAY!! Ina Garten was right when she mentioned in her recipe that air is the enemy of pesto. Air turns it brown and makes the flavor a little funky. To solve this, I make a huge batch for whatever meal I’m making and freeze the rest.

That’s right… freeze the pesto in ice cube trays. (Thanks again for the tip, parents!) Basil is hard to find in the winter, so you’ll thank yourself.
Freeze these cubes over night, then pop each out, wrap it in saran wrap and put them in a baggie with the date on it. Take one or two out for whatever it is that your’re cooking and let them defrost for an hour on the table (don’t microwave) and boom, fresh homemade pesto… again!!
This pesto can EASILY be made vegan if you just leave out the cheese. It’s pretty delicious that way too.