Saturday, August 13, 2011

Giada's Pesto for the Freezer...

Talia caring for the baby herbs back in May...

Four cups of fresh basil washed and ready to go...

I love making use of fresh herbs in the summer time!  Several varieties grow in abundance on a plant stand on our back deck.  I clip them as much as possible, tossing them in pastas, salads and marinades.  I feel so guilty as I watch them wilt away, as the colder nights set in until the first frost forces me to toss whatever remains in the compost bin.  Every year I tell myself I will learn how to dry them or freeze them, but it just never happens! 

I wish I could say that this year will be different and I’m learning how to properly dry herbs or working hard to stock our freezer with the lush, overgrown, twelve varieties I planted, but I’m not!  However, I have decided to trim our four basil plants down in order to make and freeze pesto for the winter!  It's a start.  

This recipe from Giada de Laurentiis is so simple and flavorful!  I serve it over pasta and chicken and have frozen a bunch for us to enjoy throughout the winter! 

Prep Ahead Plan:  Make the pesto recipe as written, divide in half and freeze it in individual containers.

Simple Basil Pesto
2 garlic cloves, peeled
4 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (I couldn’t find the toasted variety so I heated a skillet, tossed in the nuts and mixed them around until they were brown on all sides)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup – 1 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup grated Parmesan

1. Combine garlic, basil, toasted pine nuts and salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. Pulse until finely chopped.
2. With the blender or food processor still running, add in olive oil until desired            consistence is reached.
3. Stir in Parmesan cheese.  Serve or freeze!

Toasted pine nuts....

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