Pesto kind of rocks my world. I love it! But as most pestos don’t love me back with their dairy-fill cheese, I make my own. I make big batches of this pesto when basil is growing like a weed in the garden. After processing I pour what I am not using into ice cube trays. Cover the trays and pop in the freezer. When the cubes of pesto goodness are firm, pop them from the ice cube tray, put them into freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. Presto! You’ll have delicious fresh tasting pesto during the cold winter months. Gotta love that!
I use pine nuts when I can afford them, and walnuts when I can’t (or just feel like it). They both lend there own deliciousness to the final product.
- ⅔ cup raw walnuts or pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic (a larger clove)
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 3 cups cleaned fresh basil leaves (woody stems removed)
- ⅓ to ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, as needed
- Pulse walnuts, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor until coarsely chopped. Add basil leaves and pulse a few times to mix. Scrape down blender. Pulse mixture again while drizzling in olive oil. Add just enough olive oil to reach the consistency you prefer. (I prefer pesto to be a bit thick for freezing purposes as I can always add more oil when it thaws.) Continue pulsing and scraping down blender until everything is of a consistent texture.
- To freeze: Pour or scoop pesto into ice cube trays. Cover and freeze until firm. Put frozen cubes into a labeled freezer bag, removing as much air as possible, seal and place back in the freezer.
- To use: Thaw. Use as fresh as directed in recipe (such as tossing with gluten free pasta or roasted spaghetti squash, etc.)