Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Summer in the Freezer

A frost is predicted for tonight (perhaps) and tomorrow night (definitely). The basil won't last in the garden and so I spent the morning making pesto for the freezer. I don't "put by" much but we do so enjoy pesto and it's easy to make and even easier to freeze. When we open a jar to put a spoonful in vegetable soup (ala soup pistou) or to spoon over pasta for lunch or dinner or to make a new recipe from Ina Garten's newest cookbook (tomatoes and pesto), it is like a jarful of summer.

Ten jars this year isn't bad plus another almost whole pint in the fridge to use right up instead of waiting for a snowy January day.

The recipe is an easy one -- from The Loaves and Fishes Cookbook and it freezes very well. It doesn't have the Parmesan cheese that so many pestos have. But we really like this recipe and have used it for years.

We've always made it with pine nuts -- a ready supply available from Costco but, alas, they've stopped carrying them so we made it for the first time this year with walnuts instead. There is a difference, we think, but not much.

It's Friday which means that it's Foodie Friday so please join Michael at Designs by Gollum to see what's cooking this Friday.


1/2 cup walnuts or pine nuts
6 cloves garlic
5 cups basil leaves
1 1/2 cups olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Put garlic and nuts in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely minced. Add rest of the ingredients and process until smooth. Use immediately or pour into jars, top with lids and freeze.


Southerncook said...

We will be going down to around 37 degrees on Sat. morning. I'm thinking I may be doing the same thing tomorrow. Your post was a good reminder for me.


Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

We made pesto earlier in the week. The kitchen smelled amazing. I just love the smell of fresh basil. I've been using the pesto in soups and stews and all sorts of things that I hope it holds us through the winter!

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Looks good! My hubby's not a big pesto fan so I haven't made any to "put up" for a few years. I just added the Parmesean when I used it.

Dan said...

Hi Martha
I never knew you could freeze pesto!! I love the stuff, so I'll be using your recipe and making a big batch - much easier than making (or buying) it every fortnight!

BumbleVee said...

I didn't have enough basil to do much with this year... and I did pick some and just dry it...but, the rest...I put into some chicken broth in some ice cube trays and just from it ... to pop into soups and things...

next year.. I hope the basil is more prolific ... and/or doesn't freeze as soon as I plant it... this year we had late spring/early summer frost that took a toll.... it's nicer in November than it was much of the summer....lovely balmy and +23C today....

matron said...

Thank you for posting the pesto recipe,I have not made it before,but I do freeze basil and mint in ice cube trays,a great way to keep herbs in small batches without loosing the flavor.I have dried thyme and sage and made rosemary vinegar this year,I think I have enough of everything to see me through the winter this year.

On Crooked Creek said...

Enjoy your basil pesto! I noticed my sweet potato plants look like they are finally "finished for the Season" tonight. "Mr.Ed" and I watched the male and female cardinals at the birdfeeder while we enjoyed dinner this evening.Duo sets of Sweethearts!

Becky said...

Martha, I cut all my basil today because we are getting our first freeze tonight. As soon as I get off the computer and go to the kitchen, I am making pesto. Thank you for pointing out this recipe. I've never made it and will use it tonight.

Also, our Costco had stopped carrying pine nuts, too, but when I went last week they had them again. Maybe yours will also restock them.

Martha said...

Becky-- I was at Costco last week and they didn't have them but alas, it is too late for pine nuts for pesto 2010! But if I see them I will have to get some and put them in the freezer for pesto 2011!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Last year I made several zip-locs full of pesto and froze them. They lasted till February and were such a big treat. I totally forgot to take in the pesto this week...hopefully, I haven't lost it yet. I love the way it looks in your jars.