Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Freezer Pesto

If you have been reading my blog you know how much my family LOVES pesto. Since the basil in our garden is in full swing, I decided to start freezer canning some pesto to last for the winter months.

My challenge with this recipe is to find a cheaper place to get pine nuts. My local grocery used to sell the pine nuts for $6.99 for a 6oz bag and now it is $6.99 for a 4oz bag. I think I will start doing a little searching this week at Whole Foods and Trader Joes to find a better price for pine nuts. If you have any suggestions as to where I could get these nuts cheaper please let me know. All in all it is still cheaper to make the pesto homemade than buying the jar pesto.

This recipe is in the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. It is super easy and tastes so fresh.

Freezer Pesto


(Yield: about 2 half-pints)

1 cup pine nuts
4 cups of fresh basil leaves, firmly packed
2 cloves of garlic, (it states to crush, but I put them in the processor whole)
1 cup of parmesan cheese
1 cup plus 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Place the pine nuts in a skillet and heat on medium. Lightly toast them. Be very careful, because the nuts will burn rather quickly if you do not toss them around every 15-30 seconds.

Puree toasted pine nuts, basil and garlic in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Add parmesan cheese and blend.

Add 1 cup olive oil through the feed tube of the processor or lid of blender in a slow steady stream while the machine is running.

Pour pesto into plastic freezer jars or containers, leaving 1/2 inch headspace (I used the Ball plastic freezer containers and they worked great). Drizzle 1 1/2 tsp olive oil over the pesto. Label and freeze.