Saturday, July 14, 2012

Summer Love'in...

Today was basil harvesting time to make batches of fresh 
pesto.  I love doing this so that we can enjoy summer
pesto all year long.  I'll show you what I do and have the recipe for you
at the end of this post.

So I cut the basil and have my fresh garlic, pine nuts and grated
parmigiano reggiano cheese all set to go.

I take all the basil leaves off the stems, all the pine nuts, cheese and garlic
in the food processor.

All of those leaves and other ingredients reduces down a lot when processed!

Then I process it all again with the olive oil.

And now it looks like this.  Next is the part that a lot of people I talked
to didn't think about doing.

I spoon it into ice cube trays to make little individual cubes of pesto.
I put the trays in the freezer for a day and then I pop these cubes out 
with the help of a fork and place them in quart size freezer bags that I've
labeled with the date.  Then back in the freezer they go.  I use 3-4 cubes for
one one batch of pasta (that's for 3-4 people.  I don't like my pasta to be 
drowned in pesto).

I'm including the recipe here for anyone who would like it.
And be sure to use the ice cube tray idea.  It is SO EASY for
making those perfect size portions of pesto.

Karen's Homemade Pesto

1 1/2 C. firmly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 C.  grated parmesan or parmigiano reggiano cheese
1/4 C. pine nuts
2 large garlic cloves, skinned and quartered
1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil

Place all the ingredients except the olive oil into a food processor
fitted with the blade attachment.  Process until all combined (about 30 seconds).
Through the pour spout on the processor, slowly add the olive oil while
the machine is running.  Process for about 30 seconds.  Spoon into
ice cube trays.  This will only fill about 6 cubes.  Repeat, making more
pesto until your tray is full or you run out of basil.  Place trays in the freezer for a day or so.
Pop out with a fork and place in zip lock freezer bags and put back in freezer for 
future use.

**Thawing-DO NOT thaw cubes in the doesn't work!  Instead,
boil about 1C. of water in a glass Pyrex one cup size measuring container
in the microwave.  Remove from microwave and sit a small glass bowl
on the top of the Pyrex measuring container.  Put your frozen pesto cubes
in the bowl.  They will thaw beautifully in about 1 to 1 1/2 hours and ready
to put on hot pasta. 




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