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Old 07-26-2012, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
50,074 posts, read 42,457,212 times
Reputation: 21612

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I have just decided to make some pesto and freeze it for future use:

Here is what I am using:

2 cups of olive oil
1 cup salad oil
1 cup of walmuts
fresh spinach (about 3 cups or maybe a little more)
fresh Thai and reg basil
mint
garlic cloves
salt and pepper
zest of one lemon

This is so simple and it freezes for future use. Mix everything together except for the oils; When all the spices are mixed well and chopped completely add the oils, small amount at a time and pulse a few seconds between additions. Put in small plastic bags and freeze for future use..

Nita
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Old 07-26-2012, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Charlotte county, Florida
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Sounds great!!!

I have never had a pesto before..

Sounds great tho..
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:32 PM
Status: "Happy Holidays" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Islip,NY
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Sonuds similar to a recipe I make minus the nuts. I never had Thai basil whats is the difference from regular basil? I use less oil and also add hot chicken broth to mine.
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:56 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
50,074 posts, read 42,457,212 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lubby View Post
Sonuds similar to a recipe I make minus the nuts. I never had Thai basil whats is the difference from regular basil? I use less oil and also add hot chicken broth to mine.
Funny you would mention the chicken broth, I actually thought about that when I made it yesterday. Mine is a combo of a couple recipes anyway, and I wondered how chicken stock would work. Well,, now I have so much it is too late, but will try it next time. Thai basil is a little stronger than reg with smaller leaves. I like it better; being a basil fan, I will take either. For some reason I think of Thai as being a combination of rosemary and basil. That is just how I discribe it.
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Old 07-27-2012, 07:31 AM
Status: "Mr. Frou-Frou man." (set 19 days ago)
 
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I use pine nuts to make my pesto sauce. Very similar though. Like the thai basil twist. I also put in some romano cheese.
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Volcano
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Thai Basil has smaller leaves, and a stronger, more pungent flavor than the more familiar Italian basil. It's a common accompaniment to the Thai soup called Pho (pronounced fuh, as in fun) and other dishes.

When I have room for a garden I always plants lots of kinds of basil... Italian, Opal, Purple, Lemon, Thai, Holy (tiny little leaves), and my favorite for pesto... lettuce leaf!

And yes, you can use different kinds of nuts* and oils and dried cheeses to make pestos. Even different greens. One of my summer standards is arugula and walnut and blue cheese pesto. If a pesto is too dry it usually needs more oil, although a spoonful of broth couldn't hurt.

Also, I try to make as big a batch at a time as possible, and freeze what I'm not using within a couple of days. I kept an old ice cube tray for the purpose (because the pesto stains them) and spoon in as much as I want my portions to be... usually a mix of full cubes and half-cubes... and once they're well frozen, I store them in a good freezer bag or a plastic container. And LABEL them, because it can be easy to confuse them when you've got different kinds, made at different times.

When I want to thaw enough for a pasta dinner, I pull out as many cubes as I'll need. And when I just want a little burst of flavor for something I'm cooking, the half-cubes are really handy.

*Re: Pine Nuts... I recommend you do NOT use Chinese pine nuts. They are much cheaper than pine nuts from Europe, but in my experience they are too often acrid tasting. Better to use a smaller quantity of a better tasting nut, and bulk it out with something like almonds or parmesan cheese.

Last edited by OpenD; 07-27-2012 at 11:55 AM..
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
50,074 posts, read 42,457,212 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
I use pine nuts to make my pesto sauce. Very similar though. Like the thai basil twist. I also put in some romano cheese.
I think I used to do the cheese thing, but I haven't lately. yes, I have done pine nuts as well. They are just so darn expensive, though I always have them in the freezer.

OpenD mentioned lemon basil, it is my far my favorite but it isn't easy to find. Since moving here I haven't found any. I did in NM and it grew just fine.

Nita
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:31 PM
 
Location: The land of infinite variety!
1,851 posts, read 544,141 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
Thai Basil has smaller leaves, and a stronger, more pungent flavor than the more familiar Italian basil. It's a common accompaniment to the Thai soup called Pho (pronounced fuh, as in fun) and other dishes.

When I have room for a garden I always plants lots of kinds of basil... Italian, Opal, Purple, Lemon, Thai, Holy (tiny little leaves), and my favorite for pesto... lettuce leaf!

And yes, you can use different kinds of nuts* and oils and dried cheeses to make pestos. Even different greens. One of my summer standards is arugula and walnut and blue cheese pesto. If a pesto is too dry it usually needs more oil, although a spoonful of broth couldn't hurt.

Also, I try to make as big a batch at a time as possible, and freeze what I'm not using within a couple of days. I kept an old ice cube tray for the purpose (because the pesto stains them) and spoon in as much as I want my portions to be... usually a mix of full cubes and half-cubes... and once they're well frozen, I store them in a good freezer bag or a plastic container. And LABEL them, because it can be easy to confuse them when you've got different kinds, made at different times.

When I want to thaw enough for a pasta dinner, I pull out as many cubes as I'll need. And when I just want a little burst of flavor for something I'm cooking, the half-cubes are really handy.

*Re: Pine Nuts... I recommend you do NOT use Chinese pine nuts. They are much cheaper than pine nuts from Europe, but in my experience they are too often acrid tasting. Better to use a smaller quantity of a better tasting nut, and bulk it out with something like almonds or parmesan cheese.
OpenD, this is excellent information!!! I have never made pesto (up until now we haven't had the fresh ingredients offered in our stores in SD) but after reading this thread it may be on my list of things to do!!!
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,805 posts, read 10,860,570 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayiask View Post
OpenD, this is excellent information!!! I have never made pesto (up until now we haven't had the fresh ingredients offered in our stores in SD) but after reading this thread it may be on my list of things to do!!!
Excellent! I love turning people on to new things!

Here's a simpler, basic recipe of classic proportions to get you started. Makes a cup of pesto: :

Prep time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine the basil with the pine nuts in a food processor, pulse a few times.
- (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts, coarsely chop them first, before adding the basil.)
Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is running, until you have the consistency you want - not too coarse, not too fine.
Stop several times to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.

Add the grated cheese and pulse again until well blended.
Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Toss with pasta, serve over over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted bread. I grill chicken breasts until almost done, then slather with pesto, sprinkle with cheese, and broil for a couple of minutes for a simple but classy dinner.

As I mentioned before, you can swap ingredients... be creative... but this gives the basic proportions.

Mangia!
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Old 07-28-2012, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
50,074 posts, read 42,457,212 times
Reputation: 21612
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
Excellent! I love turning people on to new things!

Here's a simpler, basic recipe of classic proportions to get you started. Makes a cup of pesto: :

Prep time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine the basil with the pine nuts in a food processor, pulse a few times.
- (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts, coarsely chop them first, before adding the basil.)
Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is running, until you have the consistency you want - not too coarse, not too fine.
Stop several times to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.

Add the grated cheese and pulse again until well blended.
Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Toss with pasta, serve over over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted bread. I grill chicken breasts until almost done, then slather with pesto, sprinkle with cheese, and broil for a couple of minutes for a simple but classy dinner.

As I mentioned before, you can swap ingredients... be creative... but this gives the basic proportions.

Mangia!
creative is the secret to almost all cooking...Too many think a recipe needs to be followed exactly. The only time I do this is to keep the liquid/non liquids in balance when I bake. That can make a huge differnence in the texture, thus the seccess of a recipe.

Here we have ssen the basic pesto prepared in several ways: I notice you use less oil than I do, you add the cheese at the time and put the pesto in ice cubes, I freeze mine in 1 cup portions with enough oil to coat whatever I am making. Others probably make it in smaller portions and add or subtract from what you and I do. It is rare I follow a recipe exactly and I do very little actually measuring, that is why I have trouble passing recipes on so often.

Nita
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