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Friday, December 7, 2012

freeze your pesto

first, if you don't make your own pesto, you should, and you should use our super awesome recipe found here.

next, do you avoid making pesto because basil is expensive where you live?

this is the case in my hometown..... apparently basil is exotic or something, even though it grows like crazy in any garden, and they only sell it in those silly little plastic hanging packages for $3 or more for an amount of leaves that i can count on 2 hands.  i've noticed this with many "big box" groceries too. basil is in practically every italian food (even jarred pasta sauce, even canned tomatoes, and you buy those in your local big box store too) i just don't get it. anyways, enough on the soapbox.  i'm not here to make you mad that your local store doesn't sell a common herb at a reasonable price, i'm here to tell you how you can still make pesto without it costing you an arm and a leg.

what's the secret?

go to the ethnic groceries, buy their whole stock of basil, make pesto, then freeze it.
(or, if you've been blessed with a green thumb, grow as many basil plants as you can in the summertime, and do the same thing, make pesto and freeze it!)

i know i know, often times the hispanic, indian, or asian groceries aren't in your normal paths of travel.  but i promise it will be worth it. do you drive 30 miles just to go to that "big" city to go to the mall? what's another 5 miles to get to the asian neighborhood grocery store to get a giant bundle of basil for $0.99? you'll probably find other things you need for a recipe that you can't find in a big box grocery anyways (do you like thai or vietnamese food? 90% of the recipes call for fish sauce and i've NEVER seen it in a big box store)

pinterest is flooded with ways of "making things easier" and more convenient. one of those "making things easier" things is freezing pesto in ice cube trays.
(fughettaboutit!!! ...you'll spend forEVER trying to get that pesto-y smell out of the trays.. so much for convenience!!)

my mr p's genius suggestion is to make a thicker pesto by only adding a tiny bit of the oil you normally put in the pesto, then freeze in spoonfuls on parchment paper. no mess to clean up, and after they are frozen, just toss them in a bag and keep frozen until you need them!

pesto
not the most glamorous food, but it's OH so tasty....

then if you want a oilier sauce, add oil in later.  this method also gives you the option of making our favorite creamy avocado pesto pasta, where you only use a tiny bit of oil, then add an avocado to make it into a creamy pasta sauce! you basically have that recipe already complete with the frozen pesto, just add an avocado and some lemon juice and the sauce is done!

 what's your favorite way to use pesto!?
please please do tell us! we just made a huge batch and are looking for more ways to use it
(3 large bundles of basil at the bodega around the corner comes in at just $1.29 x 3 = $3.87, plus MAYBE $1 for the rest of the garlic, oil, nuts, etc.. score!)

cheers!

2 comments:

Tani stevenson said...

Great idea! My neighbor grows basil and she has so much she doesn't know what to do with it during the summer, so she lets me have as much as I want. I should do this next summer when all that basil is in bumper crop mode.

Christina said...

The creamy avocado pesto pasta sounds DELISH! We're vegan, so it's even something that we can adapt super easily. Going to have to give it a try. And genius on the freezing method! When it comes to crazy good savings, do you ever buy spices in bulk?! I am absolutely infatuated by this.

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