To me, summer just isn't summer without fresh basil pesto and everyone has their own favorite recipe. I will not try to sway you from yours, but here is one definitely worth trying.
3 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley
4-6 garlic cloves
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup toasted walnuts
1/4 - 1/2 cup finely grated parmigiano reggiano (omit if freezing)
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
finely ground black pepper to taste (optional)
Lightly toast walnuts in a dry pan over low or medium-low heat. Stir and watch carefully to make sure they don't burn or get too brown. Remove walnuts from pan and set aside to cool.
Pulse garlic cloves in a blender or food processor and add handfuls of basil and parsley leaves until everything is coarsely chopped. Add toasted walnuts, olive oil, parmigiano reggiano, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend. Add more olive oil if the mixture gets too thick. Taste and adjust proportions as you see fit!
There are a couple ways to freeze pesto. I like the freezer tray method but some people prefer to fill ramekins or 4 oz jelly jars. Here are directions for both.
Using a spatula or spoon,fill an ice cube tray with pesto. Once frozen, pop the cubes into a freezer bag. Try to get as much air out of the bag as you can and consider double bagging for protection. To freeze into ramekins or jelly jars, fill the containers, pour a thin layer of olive oil on top, wrap in saran wrap and freeze. If you have lids for the jelly jars, use them. Don't forget to label with the date and contents!
Remember to omit the cheese if you are going to freeze a batch, it tastes so much better with the cheese added just before serving.
Freezing pesto will remind you of why you love living in Oregon this winter as you thaw your pesto and enjoy a little Oregon summer in the rain.