we have loads of basil in the garden and would like to try making pesto. Recipes all simple enough, can anyone recommend a favourite? Do I neeed to toast pine nuts first? How about roasting garlic first rather than putting in raw?
I have heard keeps well frozen (ice-cube trays ideal)but should omit parmesan if freezing - true? Has anyone a method for preserving in jars (as you would buy it in shops if not fresh) so that can store without fridge or freezer, in my ever-expanding collection of domestic-goddess jars shortly destined for newly made shelves in shed for storage over autumn/winter
<feels smug whilst ignoring household basics such as hoovering floor, cleaning oven, etc.....>
I made loads of pesto last year. Froze it in ice cubes trays though (with parmesan in) rather than preserved in jars. I did some with toasted pine nuts and some with untoasted, and some with roasted garlic and some with raw garlic. My favourite was toasted pine nuts and roasted garlic, hands down - roasted garlic has less of a bite and toasting the pine nuts made them so much nuttier and more flavourful (I find them rather bland when they're raw). If you're doing a huge batch and are finding pine nuts too expensive (although you don't need that many), you can substitute sunflower seeds. Buy them raw and toast them yourself - toasted bought ones have too much salt in.
I made mine and froze it..I prefer toasted pine nuts as give more nuttier and rounded flavour and think you may need less of them if making a huge batch (as can be quite expensive), but raw garlic as stronger flavour. I always freeze mine as have too many jars of other preserved items my shelves become overrun and also I want to use it in small quantities.
I froze mine with parmesan in and never noticed anything different about it. I also dont add all the oil before freezing..but this is jsut to save space in teh freezer...never have enough room!!!! Then add olive oil wen i am using it..somehow makes it feel as though I have made it fresh too.