Enjoying summer all year long is something I’m on board with 100%. Pesto is a food that I think we can agree is like a burst of summer no matter what month it actually is. It makes food taste like summer even if it’s February. Fresh basil and other herbs don’t tend to stick around for long, no matter how long the growing season and pesto cubes might be one great option for you and your kitchen. As an avid gardener in my former life, I had missed not having an abundance of fresh herbs at my disposal and ways to enjoy them through the winter months. I had been missing out on this luxury until this year, when my container gardens took off and we were able to grow some small scale veggies of our own thanks to PIC’s research plots. The perks of living with an academic who’s research is in a field with great soil and irrigation. 🙂
Anyway, pesto. While not a new phenomenon by any means, making large batches of pesto used to be my norm. Until I no longer had a huge garden to tend each day. Instead, I’ve compromised and gone small scale. The research plots have cilantro, basil, parsley, assorted peppers, tomatoes, cukes, and zucchini at the moment. Having been out there over the weekend to weed and harvest, it yielded two cukes, a half dozen peppers, and a nice amount of fresh herbs. While not a pound or anything large scale, it was more than we could add to food but less than large scale operation worthy. I brought all of the produce home, prepped it, and made a small batch of basil and parsley pesto.
Enter: pesto cubes. I have to admit, I’ve been putting all of my extra stuff into cube form lately. An extra ice cube tray has been serving me well. I’ve put extra homemade chicken stock, leftover wine, and now pesto into cubes to make perfect single servings for later. This is a great way to preserve extras for a few weeks or months to make your dollar stretch just a bit farther. While it takes a bit of work on the front end, the back end is easy when I can simply pop a few cubes out of the bag or container and they defrost in no time. Two cubes gives 1/2 lb. of pasta a nice flavor, three if you want a really strong pesto flavor.
- pesto of your choice-homemade or the end of a jar you hate to see go to waste
- ice cube tray
- freezer bags or freezer safe container
- Place pesto into cubes
- Freeze overnight or for at least four hours
- Remove cubes from tray by popping out or let the tray sit for two minutes to warm up the oil. A knife will help pop your cubes out of the tray.
- Package and freeze.
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