How to make Pestos...

(and what to do with it once you have it)

Pesto will keep refrigerated for a week. Freeze pesto in ice cube trays, store the pesto cubes in plastic bags, and then pop a cube into savory dishes and soups for an immediate flavor boost. When preparing pesto specifically for freezing, omit the cheese, and add it to the thawed pesto before serving. If you have frozen leftover pesto with the cheese, whirl it briefly in a blender to improve its consistency.

To make pesto, place all ingredients, except for oil, in a blender or food processor. When everything is well chopped, add the oil in a thin stream to form a smooth paste.

 

Pesto Genovese

3 c loosely packed fresh basil leaves

1/3 c pine nuts or chopped almonds

1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 c olive oil

salt and ground black pepper to taste

Cilantro Pesto

1 c loosely packed fresh cilantro

1 c loosely packed fresh parsley leaves

1/3 c almonds

1 small fresh chile, or 1/4 t cayenne

2 garlic cloves

2 T fresh lime or lemon juice

1/4 c vegetable oil

salt and pepper to taste

Fine Herbs Pesto

1 c loosely packed fresh parsley leaves

1/4 c loosely packed fresh tarragon leaves

2 T fresh thyme leaves

1/4 c coarsely chopped chives

1/3 c pine nuts

1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 t fresh lemon juice

1/4 c vegetable oil

Salt and pepper

Pesto Provencal

1 c loosely packed fresh parsley leaves

2 T fresh thyme leaves

2 T fresh rosemary leaves

1 T fresh oregano leaves

1/4 cup coarsely chopped scallions

1/3 c chopped almonds

1/4 c vegetable oil

salt and pepper to taste

 Green Bean Pesto

2 c. Fresh basil leaves

1/3 c loosely packed fresh parsley

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 c grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

1/2 c olive oil

1/3 c pine nuts

How to make Herb Butters---

Use Herb Butters as a spread on bread, as a topping for steamed vegetables or broiled fish, for sauteing, and for enriching grains or pasta.

Cream together all of the ingredients. Herb butters can be frozen for up to 6 months.

Make ahead omitting butter and freezing in ice cube trays with water or broth for wonderful flavor cubes for use in soups, salads, pastas, or casseroles.

Dill-Scallion Butter

1/4 lb softened Butter

2 T Chopped fresh dill

2 T chopped scallions

1 t prepared horseradish

Savory Garlic Butter

1/4 lb softened butter

2 T chopped fresh oregano

1 T chopped fresh marjoram

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

Lemon-Mint Butter

1/4 lb softened butter

2 T chopped fresh parsley

2 T chopped fresh mint

1 T fresh lemon juice

1/2 t grated lemon peel

Basil-Dijon Butter

1/4 lb softened Butter

2 T chopped fresh basil

1 T chopped fresh tarragon

1 T chopped fresh parsley

1 t Dijon mustard

Sage-Thyme Butter

1/4 lb softened Butter

2 T chopped fresh sage leaves

2 T chopped fresh parsley

1 t chopped fresh thyme

(Especially good with pineapple sage and lemon thyme)

Freezing Fresh Herbs-

Basil, Cilantro, dill, mint and tarragon freeze will and have a better flavor when frozen than when dried.

Rinse or soak the herbs in cool water to remove any grit. Drain, remove large stems, and chop. Pack in freezer containers or plastic bags; small amounts of frozen herb can be removed and used as desired. Or freeze the herbs in ice cube trays, a tablespoon of herbs covered with water in each square; when frozen, store cubes in a plastic ziploc bag for convenient use later. Thawing is not necessary before adding to cooking foods.

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