Putting Food By: Pesto

“Would you say your pesto is the besto?” ~Friends

Each and every time I watched Friends in college, snuggled up on the couch with my roomies, and heard Phoebe say this line, I roared with laughter.  Well, let’s face it, I pretty much laughed like crazy any time I watched that show.  But looking back, the funniest part is when I was in college, I had no idea what pesto even was!

Now that I have discovered the wonderful world of pesto, I definitely would not say my pesto is the besto, but by golly it is pretty darn tasty.  I love, love, love making pesto in giant batches and freezing it for use in the winter months.  It helps to bring that lovely basil taste that reminds me so much of summer to the table when the heat is on and the snow is falling outside.

The particular batch I made this weekend had toasted walnuts, basil, swiss chard, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil and salt.  But the great thing about pesto is you can use a wide variety of nuts and/or greens and the pesto will turn out great.

When I freeze my pesto, I put it in 8oz, freezer safe, glass jelly jars.  I fill each jar to 1 inch from the top (to allow for expansion in the freezer).  It freezes beautifully this way, defrosts easily and allows for easy preparation when you pop it out of the freezer at a later date.

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Some of our favorite home preservation books are:

Putting Food By by Janet Greene, Ruth Hertzberg and Beatrice Vaughan

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (There are some great canning recipes scattered throughout the piece.)

The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest by Carol W. Costenbader

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