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Thriving Home loves pesto.
Rachel and I laugh because as we were developing healthy, freezable recipes for our cookbook called From Freezer to Table (Rodale Books), we constantly gravitated towards anything with pesto in it. Probably because of its big, fresh flavor that freezes well. The fresher the better too! I’m convinced that in a taste test, ten times out of ten I could identify fresh pesto from store bought pesto.
Since I can kind of be a pesto snob, I am doing my best to make my own pesto, stock up and freeze portions for months to come.
The process starts with fresh basil. Pick about 4 loosely packed cups of it.
In a food processor, process 4-5 cloves of garlic.
Now add in your basil, pine nuts (or you can sub walnuts) parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
Blend it up real nice.
Now, while the food processor is running, slowly drizzle a cup of olive oil through the opening at the top. Once it’s all combined you’re done!
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- ¼ cup pine nuts (sub: walnuts)
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a food processor, combine the basil, garlic, pine nuts, and cheese and pulse until coarsely chopped.
- Add ½ cup of olive oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
How to Freeze Pesto
To freeze your pesto, divide it into small portions using either an ice cube tray or, if you have it, some type of silicone muffin pan like the one below. I like using silicone products, because they are safe and easy to pop frozen food out of.
Once you’ve portioned out your pesto, drizzle a bit of oil over it to just cover the top. This will keep the pesto from becoming discolored.
Freeze it uncovered for about an hour or so, until solid, pop out of the container, and place the portions in an air-tight freezer bag or container. (Here are our favorite freezer containers.) You’re done!
Now use your yummy fresh pesto to make some of these recipes:
You’ll find many more pesto-infused and well-tested freezer recipes in our cookbook. All of the 75+ recipes in From Freezer to Table are delicious, made from whole foods, are easy to prepare, and can be made fresh or frozen for later. Order your copy today and get started cooking ahead, so you can enjoy stress-free (and pesto-laden!) meals with your loved ones around the table later.