Pesto from frozen basil & parsely

ryseryse_2004February 14, 2013

I decided to try it last summer when I had tons of fresh parsely and basil growing. I cut it regularly, removed the stems and froze it in zip-lock bags with all the air removed. I always seem to run out of my frozen pesto in the middle of winter and decided it was worth a try to make it from frozen herbs.

Well - it worked beautifully. It is a lovely green and tastes every bit as good as when I make it from fresh leaves! (BTW, I didn't blanch the herbs - never do)

Just wanted to share my little success!

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Thanks for sharing your success!! It is appreciated as I have a lot of basil, although being in Zone 10, I usually have fresh basil. That is until I kill it; I don't have a green thumb, it's pretty sad when I can't even grow basil.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 11:46AM
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I have basil in my back yard right now also, and it does very well in the winter by not trying to go to seed the way it does in the summer. However, I did buy a plastic container of basil at TJ's last week-end because I wanted to make a Caprese salad with the Kumato tomatoes that they have. I ended up making a Caprese pasta salad with bow-tie pasta, and I'll bet that frozen basil would be good for this also. I'm planning to make pesto with the leftover basil and possibly freeze it.

I haven't been watering my herbs lately until Tuesday because we've been getting enough rain, and I noticed that I have a very large cilantro plant that grew from a random seed that fell when I was harvesting coriander seeds.

It's nice to know you had success with frozen basil. Mine always turns brown when I freeze it in bags, but I might try again with foodsaver bags.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 12:17PM
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I've been told that pesto freezes well if you leave out the cheese and add that when you thaw the pesto.

This is a timely topic as I just bought big Italian seed packets of basil and parsley today, 8 and 15 grams respectively. The gardening urge is getting strong.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 2:56PM
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Great tips! I haven't frozen pesto yet, but I'll give it a try this year.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 3:24PM
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Pesto freezes great with the parmesan included. Actually, parmesan is a cheese that freezes well alone. I freeze my pesto in ice cube trays and freeze the cubes in zip locks. For my husband and I, I use 5 cubes for a dinner.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 4:29PM
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Frozen pesto is great. I have done it with and without the cheese. I freeze it in small jars with a layer of olive oil covering the pesto. I also freeze other fresh herbs this way.

At some point in my early adulthood when I came to Maine for summer visits everyone was suddenly growing huge enormous patches of basil to make freezer pesto.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 4:30PM
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Ironic, RyseRyse. I just found my basil a couple of days ago all nice and flat-packed in a freezer bag.

I blanched my basil, (no parm) and it still turned dark in the freezer. Doesn't matter -- I've been missing that smell. Gosh, I can't wait for summer tomatoes and basil!

Jim, I just bought seeds too. Not only that, I was so desperate to grow SOMETHING that I'm rooting some ginger root.

Cathy in SWPA

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 4:36PM
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Try freezing basil without blanching next time. Mine turned a little dark, but the finished product was a nice green. (I use lemon juice in my recipe)

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:35PM
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