So, today I was pulling out our field tomato plants, which were intercropped with basil, which were flourishing in the presence of the dying tomato plants. Its late September, and I had been bumming that I had not had time this season to freeze our winter ration of pesto, so I thought ding! As it turned out, by complete luck, my pantry had left the exact amount of walnuts and garlic to satisfy my basil harvest and to fill exactly 12 cupcake tins of pesto. (My preferred freezing method). So, below I thought I would share my favorite pesto as well as perfectly proportioned winter pesto recipes...even though its a little late in the season.
Based on the recipe in the Barefoot Contessa cookbook: How Easy Is That?
**makes 4 cups**
1/2 cup of creamy nuts (walnuts, pinenuts, macadamia nuts all work well)
3 tablespoons diced garlic (this works out to be about 9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan chees
1. Place nuts and garlic in bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade and process for 30 seconds
2. Add basil, salt, and pepper
3. With the processor running, solowly add the olive oil through the feed tube and process until pesto is pureed
4. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute.
I like to make the pesto above, without the Parmesan, and freeze it in friendly single serving sizes. I find a cupcake tin works perfectly! Once the pesto is frozen, I remove the pesto cakes from the tin and freeze them in a plastic bag. Once I have defrosted the pesto, I add the Parmesan. The recipe below should fill exactly 12 cupcake tins.
3/4 cups of nuts
5 tablespoons diced garlic (about 15 cloves)
7 cups of fresh basil, packed
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/4 cup olive oil
Make just as fresh recipe (minus the Parmesan). Pour into an oiled cupcake tin. Add a thin layer of oil on top. Cover with tin foil and place in the freezer. Once frozen, remove pesto cakes and place in plastic bag in freezer until ready for use. Add Parmesan cheese to pesto after it is defrosted.