You all might have guessed by now that I am in love with pesto. It's my favorite dish, and it's so versatile! (Though I only use it a couple of ways. I'm still working on expanding that.) I found a tip online a while back, and just got around to trying it out.
Because the baby is coming soon (5 weeks!) and so is the frost, I harvested my poor basil plant last week. I chopped off all of his vibrant, green leaves and made a giant batch of pesto with them. I doubt poor plant will grow back before the frost hits, but he served me well this summer!
Here's my basic pesto recipe. This time, Tyler told me it was the best I have made, but I think it's because I was trying to thin it out so I poured some milk in there. Thus, it was creamier than my previous versions.
a bunch of basil leaves
sunflower seeds (pine nuts work great, but they are so expensive!)
parmesan or romano cheese
salt & pepper
milk (to make it creamy), if desired
I pretty much just throw it all in the blender and add more olive oil until it is close to the consistency I want it to be. I felt like I had added a TON of olive oil this past time, so after I scraped the pesto out of the blender, I stirred in milk with a spatula. It turned from an olive green color to a brighter, lighter green.
Here's the best part. I am always disappointed at a) how much prepared pesto costs at the store, b) how much fresh basil costs at the store (hence the basil plant that lives on our porch), and c) that basil plants do not thrive in the winter here in Utah (haha, I wish!). So I remembered a tip I had heard: to freeze the pesto. But how? In ice cube trays, of course!
It was much easier than I thought it would be. I set aside some pesto for that night's dinner, and then spooned the rest into ice cube trays, and stuck them in the freezer overnight. Then I popped them out of the trays, and zipped them up in a quart baggie. Now whenever we want pesto, I can just pop a few "cubes" out of the freezer, thaw them out, and enjoy! I think the best part is that there is no mess, and they now come in individual servings. So I can go ahead and eat that pesto sandwich for lunch, and not have to worry about the mess it took to make. :)