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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 5 years ago
7 answers 5923 views
added almost 5 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.

added almost 5 years ago

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

added almost 5 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.

added almost 5 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.

added almost 5 years ago

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

added almost 5 years ago

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

added almost 5 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.