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Sep 22, 2012 11:03 AM

Fresh Pesto--Will It Stay Green

If I make basil pesto an hour before serving, should it stay green?

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  1. If you want it to stay green, I've heard that you need to blanch the basil for just a moment, pat dry and then make your pesto. I can't be bothered by that so mine tends to get a little muddy but the taste if fine.

      1. it will actually depend on the ratio of leaves to oil and how finely they are chopped or pounded. if you want to ensure a vivid green pesto one restaurant trick i endorse is to mix in a little arugula w the basil when you make it.

        1. You can also drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on top as soon as you put it in your serving container, which should keep any oxygen from interacting with the basil, hence eliminating (for the most part) oxidation, which is responsible for the pesto turning brown. You can also try to add a bit of lemon juice, as the acid interferes with the oxidative process also.

          I've never tried blanching, but have heard mixed results. It seems that if done very quickly (two seconds boiling water, then immediately into an ice bath), it can work. Blanch for too long, though, and your flavor disappears.

          1. As someone suggested, a layer of oil will do the trick. Better is to make the pesto while the pasta is cooking. I presume you're using a food processor, not a mortar and pestle. have everything prepped, including the cheeses. It will take seconds.

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