A first post of pesto

Welcome to my blog, God Jam It! The title was created because “God damn it!” is usually the first thing out of my mouth when I get upset, and my boyfriend loves a good pun. Anyway, to introduce myself to the universe, I made some pesto which I realize is not jam, but let’s just go with it.

Every summer I plant basil. I spent most of last summer battling the squirrels that kept digging up my seedlings. This year I planted some fully grown basil and watered it with Miracle Grow and hoped the squirrels would give me some peace. Well, they did, and the Miracle Grow lived up to its name, and my basil was growing like wild in mid-June. I had to cut it all back and make a huge batch of pesto for the freezer, which is something I never do until the end of July.

I don’t use a recipe for my pesto, and neither should you. It’s no fun that way. Throw the following items into a food processor and pulse it a few times:
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
A generous dash of salt and pepper
The zest and juice of one lemon
A healthy handful of walnuts (I don’t use pine nuts because they’re expensive)

Then add your basil, turn on the machine and let it run while you drizzle in enough olive oil to get to the consistency you want. I like mine more pasty, because you can always thin it out later depending on what you’re making.

Don’t you love my food processor? It was a wedding gift for my parents in 1969.

After it’s all blended, dump in about 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, pulse again, and then taste it. Adjust your seasonings, add more of any ingredient to get the balance that you like. Keep in mind that the cheese is salty, so watch how much salt you add.

 

 

I freeze the pesto in a mini-muffin tray that has been well sprayed with cooking spray. When it’s frozen solid, you can pop the pesto pucks out with a fork and wrap them up individually, re freeze them in a baggie and then just take out what you need when you need it. It’s so easy to throw a pesto puck into sauce or pasta, dip or hummus, soup or salad dressing. Basically anything that needs some oomph. Some people say that you should add the Parmesan cheese AFTER defrosting it, because cheese doesn’t freeze well, but I’ve never had an issue and frankly, I usually forget to add it in after the fact.

Notice those jars in the top corner? That’s strawberry jam for another post!

Because I’m slightly obsessive compulsive, and I hate freezer burned stuff, I wrap my pesto pucks like this. Lay down a sheet of aluminum foil, and then lay a sheet of plastic wrap on top of it. Cut it into small squares and then wrap each puck with the plastic touching the pesto. Then bag them all up in a freezer bag.  Don’t forget they ‘re in there! It’s like little chunks of green gold.

 

xoxo

Rachel