Hooks for Cooks™

Preserving-Go Greener Pesto

August 22nd, 2009

Go Greener Pesto
There’s a lot of buzz in the Seattle food community these days regarding canning and preserving. Yes, indeed, it’s a great way to store seasonal foods for the offseason. This is something I’ve been doing for the last 15 years or so.

Admittedly, there was a phase when folks thought I was a bit odd for bothering to do this, but freezing and canning have always made sense to me.  The techniques save me money and help me put better quality food on the table for my children yearround.

That’s why when I found myself with a glut of chard last summer, I needed to try something new. I readied my Cuisinart food processor and headed into my kitchen garden to gather bunches of basil and chard. For many years now I’ve been making traditional pesto in bulk and freezing it to use in soups, stews, skillet pastas, and homemade pizzas yearround. Last year, however, I decided to add some of my surplus chard to the mix.

So, when I made my usual pesto recipe, I added handfuls of washed and deribbed raw chard leaves to the food processor as well. Much to my delight and surprise, the result was excellent and the yield was massive!

As usual, I then lined my Chicago metallic half sheet pans with parchment paper, plopped blobs of my Go Greener Pesto onto the paper and then froze the tray of blobs. Once the blobs were frozen, I stashed them in a Ziploc bag and reached for them all winter long.Try it. You’ll really like it on a cold rainy night.

And, while you are thinking of using your food processor, be sure to check out my Al Dente Blog post regarding the new Cuisinart Elite Food Processor.

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