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Freezing Pesto -- I used to freeze pesto in ice cube trays (just basil, oil, nuts & a bit of salt), without adding the cheese. Then I would add freshly grated cheese (and occasionally a bit of butter) as I used the frozen cubes. I think the theory is that with freshly grated cheese added immediately before serving, the pesto had a just-made taste. But it means defrosting the cube(s) before making the fresh additions, and if there isn't enough cheese on hand, one is really in a pickle. What do others do?

asked by calendargirl almost 6 years ago
7 answers 8000 views
8d15d9cf 7f9f 46ec a8b7 7adad145fc4e  dsc 0954 wheat bread
added almost 6 years ago

Well, I have frozen pesto with the cheese in cubes and to me it tasted fresh. I always put the pesto in an ice cube tray and then poured a little olive oil over to "seal" the flavor.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 6 years ago

I just freeze it with the cheese, I don't think it makes much of a difference.

549d9fb3 53ef 4170 b68e 8bae2e055be7  dsc 0048b
added almost 6 years ago

I have done it both with cheese and without and have not noticed a difference, either. I even freeze it with the garlic, too and have not noticed a bad taste that some have mentioned on other threads. Just an idea though...I sometimes freeze the pesto without cheese so that I can choose whether to stick with parmesan or sub in goat cheese when I thaw the pesto. If you haven't tried it, goat cheese in the pesto is delicious. I think I first got the idea from a Marcella Hazan recipe a long time ago. I just use a few tablespoons at a time, to taste.

4f98639e b8b3 42cd 9b01 ec8a503c5fdd  2010 09 15 14.22.07
added almost 6 years ago

Thanks so much, everyone! Healthierkitchen, I think it was Marcella Hazan who gave me the idea to freeze without the cheese, and I love the idea of using goat cheese instead of parmesan. I will definitely give it a try.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 6 years ago

I also use the olive oil technique, and freeze with the cheese. Comes out great!

Bb911bcd 2446 4d8f 848f cdc2090e999a  leaf cake
added almost 6 years ago

We always add the cheese directly to our pesto before we freeze it. It always tastes great.

Ab2cff97 8715 4018 9429 1146955ac4cf  image v0b2628revised
added almost 6 years ago

I think it tastes fresher when the pine nuts, cheese and garlic are added before serving. Not frozen.
Love the idea of goat cheese. Will try that soon. Brilliant idea. Love Marcella.