HERBS OR SPICY GREENS FOR PESTO
I love making big batches of pesto to store in the freezer, but when I have several pounds of basil (or mint, dill, cilantro, parsley, arugula, etc.) that need to be dealt with immediately, I use this short-cut.
1. Wash and dry: Rinse and dry 2 cups of your herb of choice.
2. Puree with olive oil: Combine the herb with a pinch of salt and 1/4 cup of olive oil in a food processor. Process, stopping to scrape down the sides of the food processor container as necessary.
3. Store: Spoon the herb mixture into a plastic freezer bag or container and store in the freezer.
When you’re ready to make pesto, defrost the herb mixture. Toast 2 tablespoons of nuts (pine nuts, walnuts, cashews, etc.) and chop 1/2 clove of garlic. Combine the herb mixture with the nuts, garlic, and 1/4 cup more of olive oil in a food processor and process. Grate 1/2 cup of hard cheese (Parmesan, pecorino Romano, etc.) or omit for a vegan version. Stir in the cheese by hand and serve. (Makes about 1 cup of pesto.)