pesto now & later

[25 Aug 2006 | By | Comments Off on pesto now & later]

pesto cubes

Oh for the love of pesto. This is one of my ‘make it easier on myself later’ tricks that I employ in my kitchen. No doubt there are a million tricks to discover: I love the thrill of finding that next one. When the basil is abundant—whether its from the store or my garden—rather than let it go to waste, I make it into pesto for ‘Later.’

This pesto freezes well in ice cube trays; I later use a ‘cube’ at a time to infuse minestrone, add interest to focaccia, upgrade risotto or fold fresh flavor into Alfredo sauce. Pasta with pesto is an easy side dish, especially if all you have to do is drop a cube into already hot pasta, stir and serve. Next to some grilled chicken or as a start to a great pasta salad, freshly made frozen pesto provides a magical touch each and every time you use it.

And the steps to making this pesto are even easier with a little helper by your side. Though not so little, my 10 year old son tore all the basil leaves from the stem, added all the ingredients to the food processor and blended away. The next time you need some pesto ‘Now,’ purposefully make much-too-much, place in ice cube trays (once frozen put in Ziploc bag), so you can enjoy pesto ‘Later.’

2 heaping T pine nuts
3 cloves minced garlic
4 T Parmesan, grated
big pinch Kosher or coarse salt
10 grinds coarse pepper
1 1/4 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil

Add all ingredients except olive oil. Process to blend; add 1/4 cup of the olive oil and process. Add the rest of the olive oil, process. Put into ice cube trays to freeze, pop out and keep in Ziploc freezer bags for future, random and ease-of use.

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