This basil pesto recipe is my favorite way to use up garden fresh basil. This easy pesto recipe features fresh basil, fresh garlic, extra virgin olive oil, romano cheese, toasted pine nuts and salt. Freezing instructions are included in the instructions.
Bright Green Basil Pesto
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted and cool
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/3 cup shredded Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
Well, after a wonderful growing season it is time to harvest the better part of the basil crop. I have been eating off the plants all season and LOVING my tomato, mozzarella, basil sandwiches. But before the entire crop goes to seed and I loose the leaves I decided it was time to harvest and MAKE PESTO!!!
Is basil pesto healthy?
Pesto is often made from basil, olive oil, garlic, Romano or parmesan cheese as well as pine nuts. These ingredients have health benefits and can/should be included in a healthier diet. Olive oil and pine nuts are higher in calories, because of the high fat content. However, what makes this food considered “healthy” is that the fat is unsaturated. Unsaturated fat can contribute to an improvement in cholesterol.
If you like pesto, include it in your diet, but just make sure to do so in moderation, because the calories can add up quickly.
Once you have made your pesto you have two options.
- Eat it with in 2 weeks or so.
- Freeze it.
The option you DO NOT have is to can it, either water bath or pressure canning. There is too much oil in the recipe to safely can basil pesto at home. Be safe everyone.
Can you freeze pesto?
Yes you can freeze basil pesto. In fact, it is the preferred method because water bath canning is not encouraged. Pressure canning is an option but a whole other canning method.
Fill your clean canning jars with pesto removing as much air as possible.
Another video featuring basil:
Preparing pesto for freezing
Pour on a layer of extra virgin olive oil. This ‘seals’ in the pesto keeping air from touching the pesto. Air is what causes oxidation of the pesto. By pouring oil over the pesto it ensures that air does not come into contact, even in the freezer.
Pour in enough just to cover. Don’t fill to the tippy top as when it freezes the pesto will expand.
Cover with a lid and a ring.
You are ready for the freezer!
Check out that green color!
This is what happens when you take a few extra minutes to blanch the pesto to lock in the color.
No muddy green pesto here!