Friday, June 26, 2009

Basil Pesto

{print this recipe}
I like to buy large bunches of basil at the farmer's market to make batches of this pesto for my freezer. So easy to pull out a few cubes later, let them thaw and make a quick, yummy pesto dinner! Even my 17-month-old devours his dinner when I serve it with pesto.

Source: adapted from
Prep time: 15 minutes

3 cups fresh basil, coursely chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/8 cup walnuts, toasted
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cloves minced garlic (or more if desired)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Place the basil in a blender. Pour in about 1 tablespoon of the oil, and blend basil into a paste. Gradually add pine nuts, walnuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and chili powder. Blend while slowly adding the remaining oil.

Kitchen tip:
Pesto can be frozen and thawed for later use. I freeze it in silicone ice cube trays then transfer to a labeled Ziploc freezer bag, removing as much air as possible. Thaw cubes as needed (takes just an hour or so). Do not heat pesto, allow the pasta to heat pesto through.


Emily Takes Photos said...

Ahh pesto, the food so awesome that it can't be ruined :) I've found that if I'm going to freeze pesto, it's best to omit the cheese and add it in after thawing, otherwise it's gets a gummy texture.

Jessica said...

Do you think I could make pesto without the walnuts?

Janet said...

Jessica, definitely! I would just sub. more pinenuts if you omit the walnuts.

Jessica said...

Thanks, Janet! I'll try it! We have 4 basil plants and so much basil. I have started chopping and freezing for the winter, but I really need to make some pesto. We don't eat nuts (but pine nuts are okay) so I'm going to try it soon!