Hi Food Lushers! I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend.
Sometimes I find myself with a huge bunch of herbs leftover from dinner or a party. Although fresh herbs aren't usually too expensive, I still hate wasting food. Especially when that food is fresh parsley, basil, rosemary, etc. So when I had a bunch of leftover basil recently, I decided to throw together some pesto and freeze it in ice cube trays. I'd love to say this was my idea, but it's nothing new. I just thought I'd share it with you all, since it was actually a success.
Pesto is one of those things that is okay out of a jar, but SO much better fresh. I don't use pine nuts in this recipe. They're delicious, but pricey. Instead I sub in walnuts. My version is loosley based on the one below from Cooking Light.
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts or pine nuts
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cups basil leaves (about 4 ounces)
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Drop nuts and garlic through food chute with food processor on; process until minced. Add oil; pulse 3 times. Add basil, cheese, and salt; process until finely minced, scraping sides of bowl once.
I used my Magic Bullet and it worked out just fine. Once it was done, I scooped it into a plastic ice cube tray and let them freeze for a few days. Now they are hanging out in my freezer.
I've used a few of the cubes for various dishes and I have to say, it's pretty nice having them. The only problem I found was the top layer of the cubes turned an unappealing brown color. It still tastes great though.
I did some searching and found that much like guacamole, pesto turns brown because of oxidation. Apparently, adding a bit of lemon juice can prevent this. Next time I will!
Anyone else have any luck freezing sauces in small portions like this?