Freezer Fridays: Pesto

Hello everyone! I wanted to welcome you all to a new series I’m doing called Freezer Fridays. One of the best strategies for ensuring you always have healthy, home cooked meals on hand is to cook ahead and freeze servings of your favorite dinners. There is nothing more depressing (or take-out inducing) than coming home from a long day at work and realizing you have nothing to eat. Sometimes, I don’t walk in the door until 7:30 and the thought of making a meal makes me want to cry.

The solution: Freezing! My lovely friend and reader Caroline recently suggested that I promote freezing and feature some freezer friendly recipes. Since she is so super brilliant, I decided this was worth a try.

BENEFITS OF FREEZING:

  1.  Shelf life: Frozen foods LAST. Kept at a consistent temperature, properly packaged and sealed, some foods, like meat will last for a year.
  2. Cost Saving: You can buy a lot of fresh food seasonally and in bulk which cuts down on cost.
  3. Vitamins: Research suggests that nutrient contents in fruits and veggies remain stable while frozen. Freeze at the height of freshness and reap all the nutiritional benefits.
  4. Time Saving: You can cook large batches and freeze leftover meals. This will save on cooking time and give you lots of healthy options for mid-week meals.
  5. Serving Size: Are you cooking for just yourself? For two? Most recipes are designed to accomodate multiple eaters. Freeze extra servings of your favorite dishes and prevent overeating and/or food waste.

Now. As you all know, I am a huge propoenent of farmer’s market and gardening. My own garden is completely overrun with fresh basil. It’s a good problem to have, but I don’t want it all to go to waste. The solution? Freezer Pesto.

This recipe is simple to make and store. Just throw everything into a food processor and freeze in an ice cube tray. This large batch recipe will make 8-10 pesto cubes. Once frozen, pop them out and store in a freezer bag.

NOTE: Parmesan cheese does not freeze very well. As a result, I left it out of the recipe. I add some Parm right before serving instead.

There are many tasty ways to enjoy these pesto cubes – I used one for some tasty spaghetti squash I picked up at the farmer’s market. You can also throw these pesto cubes in soups, over some roasted veggies, or with some pasta.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Freezer Fridays: Pesto
 
Prep time

Total time

 

This recipe will make 8-10 pesto “cubes.” Each cube is approximately one tablepoon
Author:
Serves: 8-10

Ingredients
  • 6-8 cups of fresh basil, washed and tightly packed
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • ⅓ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • optional: ¼ cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until pureed.
  2. Using a tablespoon, spoon pesto mixture into a clean ice cube tray and freeze
  3. Once frozen, pop out cubes and store in a freezer bag until needed

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6 Responses to Freezer Fridays: Pesto

  1. CCU September 28, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

    I love your twists on the traditional pesto :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  2. Jenn and Seth September 28, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    1 – i love this series, i’m always trying to figure out what freezes well! 2 – we are totally on the same wavelength, as i just froze some pesto last night!

  3. Nami | Just One Cookbook September 28, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    I do too rely on freezer! You know I’m doing bento series – I must freeze leftover food from dinner and pack nicely. Some food last between 2 wks to 1 month! My morning packing is so much easier. It’s great to share knowledge because not everyone actually knows some stuff. I love that you freezed pesto, because I never done it before!

  4. CJ at Food Stories September 29, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    Great idea, Dara … I work long hours, too, and it’s awful to come home and too tired to make anything.

  5. mjskit October 1, 2012 at 1:37 am #

    Pesto is definitely one of the things that I freeze for the winter! How wonderful it is to have pesto in February! A couple of years ago I learned the trick of freezing without the cheese. as a result, the pesto doesn’t turn brown when it thaws. I love it! I never thought of freezing it in ice cube trays! Great idea! One of my other must freeze items is sweet bell pepper. I buy them when they are cheap this time of year, roast them, peel them and freeze them. It works great! This is a great series! I’ll be back!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. White Bean Pesto Soup | Generation Y Foodie - January 1, 2013

    [...] soup provides a perfect use for my Freezer Pesto that I featured a while back. Pesto has so many uses beyond pasta. Dropping in a few freezer cubes [...]

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