JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Look, I know you all know how to make pesto, but when I began this blog, it was so that I could easily find the recipes I use all the time - so this post is for me. Except there's one thing - can those of you that have been making pesto longer than I have tell me whether it freezes well?

I ordered a 200g bag of basil from my organic box this week, and it came yesterday - a huge bag of fragrant leaves. The recipe was on the bag ... only what blogger do you know follows a recipe exactly? This is not quite what was on the bag - quick, delicious, and in my fridge, because I don't want to waste it if it doesn't freeze well.

6 cloves garlic
200g pine kernels
200g freshly grated parmesan
200g basil
olive oil - a good lot
salt and pepper (at the end)

Whizz everything except the salt, adding the oil in a drizzle until you get a smooth creamy liquid. Add the salt and pepper when you've got the consistency you want.

You could do this in a mortar, if you wanted to spend a little time pounding ... a job for sitting in the sun, I think.

Mine's in a lovely jar, and I covered it with a little oil to stop it discolouring.

PS We ate some for supper, the little bit I couldn't fit into the jar, neat, to accompany our vegetables. Alfred thought it was slightly too cheesy, Lucius and Lettice said it was perfect. I thought it was a beautiful shade of green, and that made Alfred laugh.


Holler said...

Lush! I can smell it, just by looking at it! Basil is one of my true loves!

alex said...
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Cottage Smallholder said...

Oh I love a soft pesto. I didn't know how to make it so thanks for the recipe.

Sara said...

Hi Joanna,
I have never made pesto so I will start to now I know how easy it is.
Can you tell me what sort of things I can serve it with please?
Sara from farmingfriends

Joanna said...

The classic use for pesto is with pasta, loosen up a dollop with a little of the cooking water, then stir into the pasta.

It's also BRILLIANT stirred into mashed potato

... good in little dollops on a pizza

it's also good flavouring mayonnaise in a chicken sandwich

... I think what I'm saying is that it goes very well with carbs!

Hope that helps, Sara


Little Foodie said...

I love homemade pesto. Not sure it freezes well but I tend to freeze the leaves if I have too many. You can then make the pesto with the frozen leaves no need to defrost them.
It freezes well for use where you don't need the leaves to stay whole, (it crumbles once frozen). You probably knew this already.

Joanna said...

No, I didn't ... that is SO useful, thank you!


katiez said...

If you are making it to freeze, which I do every fall, leave out the pine nuts and Parmesan and only use as much oil as you need. If you want proper pesto, you can thaw and finish it, adding the nuts and Parmesan.
I freeze it in an ice cube tray, then put it in freezer bags. I use the cubes in everything - drop one into rices or sauces, etc., without thawing or 'finishing'
Hope that helps.

Joanna said...

Thank you Katie, just the information that was needed ... I'll make it that way next time