Friday, September 16, 2011

Run Don’t Walk for Basil

There is a short time in the summer where basil is plentiful and inexpensive and it is now.  I may be preaching to the choir here but I cannot recommend too highly having pesto in the freezer to use throughout the year. I am never without it:
  • for emergency crostini
  • to make the easy and delicious salmon baked in parchment you can find in my August 14th blog
  • to add a small spoonful to bean or minestrone soups - adds great flavor and looks lovely
  • to spread on bread and top with a tomato slice for the kids when they come home from school
  • to put under the skin of a bone-in chicken breast before baking
  • and of course for spaghetti with pesto (pesto pasta in a lovely bowl, surround with in-season tomato wedges).
I just bought 3 good leafy bunches and made a batch of pesto for the freezer.  You probably already have your own recipe.  Mine is 4 cups of basil leaves, 6 cloves of garlic, olive oil to make a smooth paste, ½ cup pine nuts, and ½ cup grated Parmesan.   I use the Cuisinart to blend and then mound large spoonfuls on a cookie sheet and then freeze.  When frozen, I like to wrap each one in parchment (twist the ends like a candy wrapper).  This is totally not necessary as they will keep well all together in a zip lock bag but it just appeals to me to grab one wrapped in paper – and no messy fingers!

(Freshly made and frozen is so much better than the expensive jars of pesto found in grocery gourmet aisles.  But I must confess that I tried Costco’s Kirkland brand a few months ago and thought it was excellent. It came in a huge jar so I proceeded to freeze small portions in an ice cube tray because it was a bit runnier than my homemade pesto.)


  1. Hey Nikki, I just wanted to try posting a comment so see if I'm doing it right! Also I just read your Basil post to my mother-in-law and we agree we need to get Scott to make some pesto to keep on hand in the freezer! Thanks for the idea! Holly

  2. Cant wait to try it! Ciera and I are going to make it this weekend.

  3. I must confess, I love your blogs! I can hear your voice clearly, love your thoughts and drool over the recipes. I have been making and freezing pesto for several years at your recommendation. I love having it on hand.