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Oct 21, 2011 04:59 PM

question about pesto making

I've got an abundance of basil -intend to make and freeze most of it-one of the recipes said don't add cheese if intending to freeze-add when taken out of freeze-why??
I keep extra Parm in the freezer just because I don't use it every day, or even week...

Any answers would be greatly appeciated


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  1. It's just a matter of freshness although I do it ALL the time and I've never had it go rancid on me. I guess like anything else that you freeze there is an amount of time that you can keep things before the quality starts to suffer. Reminds me that I better get my pesto making going before my plants totally go to seed.

    1. I think the issue that some cookbooks have is that cheese doesn't freeze well; freezing changes the texture, although grated cheese can be frozen successfully. I make and freeze pesto with Parm and have never had an issue with it changing the flavor for the worse, but other posters have differing opinions. Maybe you could do two small experimental batches, one with and one without, and see which you prefer?

      Here's more food for thought:

      1 Reply
      1. re: bushwickgirl

        bushwickgirl, I do the same -- I make my pesto with the cheese and freeze it. I've been doing this for more years than I care to remember, and I have never had any problems with a change in taste and texture.

      2. I've also bought a large container of pesto from Costco, which has the cheese in it, and it froze just fine. I did the initial freezing in ice cube trays and then transferred the cubes to a container so I'd also have them available for even a small application--like two cubes for some boiled potatoes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: escondido123

          My DH freezes the pesto in large ziplock bag laid flat so the pesto freezes in a large sheet. Then he can easily break/cut off the size chunk he needs -- no need to deal with ice cube trays and transferring later. Plus, once the pesto is frozen, the bag can be rolled or folded to compress its size.

        2. Ha! I use cheese in it, and freeze it. I suspect it has to do with the flavor added by the Parm at the very end. If frozen it loses some of its flavor. I think it has to do with taste vs food safety.

          1. Well, I just blend the basil with olive oil and freeze it, and add the rest of whatever I'm going to put into it at the end. I'm sure it isn't much different than anybody else's technique, though.