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Fresh Pesto--Will It Stay Green

DaisyM Sep 22, 2012 11:03 AM

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

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    escondido123 RE: DaisyM Sep 22, 2012 11:09 AM

    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. j
      jaykayen RE: DaisyM Sep 22, 2012 11:11 AM

      should be fine.

      1. s
        soupkitten RE: DaisyM Sep 22, 2012 11:22 AM

        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. f
          foreverhungry RE: DaisyM Sep 24, 2012 09:45 AM

          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. mbfant RE: DaisyM Sep 24, 2012 09:48 AM

            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.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mbfant
              sal_acid RE: mbfant Sep 24, 2012 10:11 AM

              Add some blanched spinach.

            2. letsindulge RE: DaisyM Sep 24, 2012 10:30 AM

              A layer of EVOO, followed with plastic wrap placed directly on layer of olive oil will slow down the oxidation.

              2 Replies
              1. re: letsindulge
                firecooked RE: letsindulge Sep 24, 2012 10:58 AM

                this is what works for me!

                1. re: firecooked
                  DaisyM RE: firecooked Sep 24, 2012 12:13 PM

                  I seriously screwed up the pesto. I left it till the last minute just as guests were arriving. I got distracted and put in too many walnuts and too little cheese and oil. It tasted bitter. (I used walnuts because of one incident of "pine mouth". I wish I had made it in advance.

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