Pesto is a great dish for many reasons, including that it is easily stored and makes an excellent party appetizer. But if you’re one of those people who doesn’t really like pesto, what do you make with all of the extra basil? Don’t worry! You can freeze pesto in ice cube trays to use as your own personal sauce. Just be sure to let the cubes thaw before using to avoid getting a mushy consistency. You can serve it over vegetables, as a side with your favorite meat, or as a dip for crusty bread.
What is pesto?
Pesto is made from basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and olive oil. Credit for creating the first pesto goes to Sicily, where it is an extremely popular sauce.
What makes it pesto?
Though you’ll usually find a base of Parmesan cheese in pesto, you can make any variety that appeals to you by substituting a different type of melted or crumbled cheese. Pesto also includes olive oil to give it a great flavor and texture.
What’s in your pesto?
Although basil is the main ingredient in pesto, you can substitute any herb, spice or nut that suits your tastes. Other additions include extra garlic cloves, roasted red peppers and hot chili pepper flakes. Pesto can be made with a variety of nuts, not just almonds and pine nuts.
How to freeze pesto:
1. Once the pesto is made, put the basil leaves in a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Place the basil in a freezer bag and press out as much air as possible.
2. Place the pesto cubes in ice cube trays and place them in your freezer. Use as many trays or cubs as you need to fit all of your pesto cubes.
3. The pesto cubes will keep for one month in the freezer. To use, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight or on a counter overnight at room temperature.
4. You can also make your pesto without freezing it by first zesting and juicing all of the lemon, then completing the recipe as normal and using a mortar and pestle to mix it up.
How long can I freeze pesto?
You can freeze pesto for up to one month, but it is at its best within the first 24 hours.
How long can frozen pesto last?
After defrosting frozen pesto, it should be used within one week. Kept longer, the texture and flavor will start to change. Be sure to store any leftover pesto in the refrigerator. Always use a clean spoon when scooping out your pesto from the container.
How does pesto freeze in ice cube trays?
Freezing pesto in ice cube trays allows for easy storage and even distribution. Toss out the pesto cubes before you use them to avoid molding or becoming mushy. To prevent freezer burn, use a baking sheet as an extended plate when transferring the trays from the freezer to the refrigerator. Allow them to thaw at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
Do you have to thaw frozen pesto?
You don’t need to thaw frozen pesto. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. If you freeze your pesto without fully defrosting it, wrap the unused portions of it well in plastic wrap before placing them back into the freezer. You can also freeze your pesto cubes by individually wrapping each cube in plastic wrap and placing them into a freezer bag. Be sure to use only one type of plastic when freezing multiple types to prevent freezer burn.
Can you thaw pesto in the refrigerator?
Pesto can be left frozen. If you do this, it will not taste its best when thawed. To avoid long wait times, thaw it at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
How do I store pesto?
Store your pesto in a glass container. Pesto does not need to be covered or refrigerated because of its high fat content and strong flavors. Don’t freeze pesto.
How long will my homemade pesto last?
Homemade pesto lasts for one week when refrigerated in a glass container. You can freeze it for up to one month but it does not taste as fresh once thawed. Always use a clean spoon when scooping out your pesto to prevent contamination.
How long does it take for my pesto to thicken?
Pesto does not have a set time for thickening. The exact amount of time will depend on the type of pesto you are making. You can always add extra olive oil to make your sauce thicker, or drain some pasta water if you want a thinner consistency.
Can I use frozen pesto in recipes?
Yes, but don’t add any extra olive oil when you heat it because this may break down the texture of the sauce. You can heat it and serve it immediately or add it to a recipe for serving later.
Is pesto interchangeable?
Yes. Pesto is a sauce and can be used in salads, pasta or even sandwiches. You can also substitute other types of cheese and herbs. If you want pesto with a different flavor, use fresh basil, rosemary or even thyme. You can also add olives to the mix for extra flavor. To make your pesto more nutritious and delicious, use low-fat ingredients such as olive oil, reduced-fat cheese and low-sodium chicken broth instead of cream or butter.
Many people think that pesto is a difficult sauce to prepare. The truth is that it is quite easy. You only need to know how to make a basic pesto and freeze pesto cubes. If you follow these steps, your homemade pesto will always be ready whenever you need it.
The average person can prepare pesto in less than 10 minutes. There is no need to buy a whole jar of pesto if you only want to make a little sauce. You can mix up a batch at any time and freeze it in your refrigerator for later use. Save your money and make it at home!
Freezing pesto in ice cube trays allows for easy storage and even distribution. You can also make your pesto without freezing it by first zesting and juicing all of the lemon then completing the recipe as normal.