It seems like my basil plants have exploded overnight. Last week, there weren’t enough leaves to justify a cutting, but now I have enough basil to feed the whole neighborhood.
My favorite way to eat fresh basil is in a Caprese salad, layered with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. But of course, as luck would have it, I’m swimming in basil but my tomatoes aren’t quite ready yet. So how do I use up the basil I have, since pinching off more leaves will help encourage growth all summer?
So on to my second favorite basil recipe – pesto. Last night, I carefully picked the best basil leaves and processed them into a delicious pesto using a pretty straightforward recipe: basil leaves, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and a little lemon juice. But by the time I was finished, I had more than 8 cups of pesto. Whoa! If you’ve had pesto before, you probably know that a little goes a long way. After considering eating only recipes that use pesto for the next week and a half, I decided to make some basic pasta and freeze the rest of the pesto to enjoy later.
How to Freeze Pesto
Freezing pesto is pretty simple, really. There are a few different methods you can try, but the following is my favorite:
- Grab some ice cube trays.
- Put your pesto in a plastic Ziploc-type bag and snip the corner.
- Squeeze the pesto into the trays.
- Freeze the trays until the pesto is solid.
- When the pesto is completely frozen, pop the cubes out of the trays (and say a quiet thank-you for the invention of refrigerator ice makers… doesn’t this bring back memories?)
- Place the frozen-solid pesto cubes in a large freezer bag. Place the bag in the freezer to keep up to a year.
Now you can enjoy small portions of pesto all year round – to spread on sandwiches, for quick party appetizers or as a variation on basil-mashed potatoes! Check out more of our favorite recipes with pesto below!