Welcome back to the second installment of Friday Free For All. My family enjoys pesto (especially The Girl), but it isn’t something we eat regularly because pesto is expensive. In order to make it more affordable, I typically purchase the Kirkland brand Signature Basil Pesto from Costco – 22 ounces for about $6-7. The problem with purchasing the larger container is using all the pesto before it goes to waste (approximately 7-14 days after opening).
Today I have a quick little tip to help you preserve pesto by freezing it. This little tip also allows you to save money by purchasing in a larger quantity and ensuring none of the lovely, fragrant green sauce goes to waste. Besides pesto, the only additional items you need are a clean, empty ice cube tray, plastic wrap and a freezer bag.
To start, you will want to verify the capacity of your individual ice cube compartments. Simply fill a tablespoon with water and empty into one of the compartments, repeating until the individual compartment is full. If you are using a fairly standard-sized ice cube tray, each cube will hold approximately 1-2 tablespoons. Dump the water out and dry the compartment.
Next, fill each compartment with pesto sauce. After the compartments are filled, cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Freeze pesto cubes until solid (I usually freeze overnight).
After the cubes have frozen solid, simply pop them out of the tray and store in a freezer bag until ready to use. The pesto cubes should keep for about 4 months in the freezer.
To use, defrost the desired amount in the refrigerator for a couple hours before using in your favorite pesto recipe.
1 cube = yields approximately 1-2 tbsp of pesto.
4 tbsp = 1/4 cup (4 cubes from my tray is bit more than 1/4 cup.
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