Preserve the fresh flavor of summer basil by making and freezing pesto to enjoy year-round.
Basil is one of the flavors that simply screams summer. Toss it with hot cooked pasta, spread over crostini or pizza crust or use a dollop to liven up fish or chicken for a fast, fresh, summery meal any time of year. Pesto can include Parmesan cheese, but leave it out if you plan to freeze the pesto.
- 1 cup pine nuts or walnuts
- 8 cups lightly packed fresh basil (4 oz)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Toast 8 to 10 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted, stirring once. Cool 10 minutes.
- Combine toasted nuts, basil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. Cover and process until nuts are finely chopped.
- With machine running, gradually add oil, blending well. Process until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
- To freeze the pesto, spoon into an ice cube tray, about 2 tablespoons per cube. Cover the tray with plastic wrap, and freeze overnight. Transfer frozen cubes of pesto to a zip-top plastic freezer bag, and freeze up to 3 months.