I love to make pesto – it’s so rich and delicious, but a little can go a long way. It will keep for several days in the fridge, but sometimes I don’t use an entire recipe of pesto (such as this kale walnut pesto), and luckily it freezes very well!.
Wondering what you can do with pesto? So many things! You can use it for:
- Pasta – any kind, from rigatone and linguine to orzo and penne, or even add it to your lasagna layers
- Pizza – put it on a homemade pita for a personal pizza or on a homemade whole wheat pizza crust in lieu of tomato sauce. Top with fresh mozzarella and other toppings of your choice
- Eggs – scramble your eggs with a tablespoon of pesto (green eggs!)
- Sandwich Spread – skip the mayo and mustard and spread some pesto on your bread (or mix some pesto with homemade mayo for another tasty spread)
- Potatoes – toss roasted potatoes with pesto
- Salad Dressing – add pesto to your favorite vinaigrette recipe
- Meatloaf & Meatballs – add a dollop to your recipe for some extra rich flavor
- Bread – add 3-4 tablespoons before the final kneading when making your favorite whole wheat bread recipe
- Grilling – add just a little pesto on top of grilled chicken, steak, shrimp or vegetables before serving
- Bruschetta – use as a spread on bruschetta or spread on a large loaf of crusty bread and bake for a new twist on garlic bread
- Soups – add a spoonful to your soup bowl before serving
- Dips – add to white bean dip or to a sour cream/mayo based dip
The list goes on and on!
To freeze your pesto, get out 1 or 2 ice cube trays, depending on how much pesto you have leftover and how big your trays are. I used my new silicone ice cube trays and only needed one for my leftovers.
I started by measuring the size of the cube compartment using a tablespoon measure and water. I figured out that filled to the brim, they measure 2 tablespoons each. Start by filling each slot about 3/4 full with the pesto.
Top off the pesto with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to create a thin top layer. This will prevent your pesto from oxidizing and turning a really icky dark brown color. You want the pesto to be as bright green as the day you made it.
Cover the trays with some plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Once the pesto cubes are frozen, pop them out of the trays and transfer to a quart or gallon-size freezer bag (depending on how many cubes you froze).
I labeled the bag with today’s date along with “Kale Pesto – 1.5 T”, so that I would remember how much was in each cube. Then you can thaw a cube or two (or more) as you need it for a recipe.
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