In a post back in August of last year I mentioned a method of preserving basil in salt. Well, a couple jars of salted basil leaves have been taking up space in my refrigerator for a few years now and it has only been the rare occasion I have put the preserved basil to use. Today I used the contents of one of the jars to make pesto.
The jars of basil leaves packed in salt can be stored in the refrigerator indefinitely. The leaves become limp but leathery in texture and turn a dark color. The taste is somewhere in-between fresh basil and the dried crushed basil in your spice cabinet.
The salt had become a solid mass and it took some effort with an icepick to get the salt and preserved basil leaves out of the jar and separated.
I rinsed the basil leaves in a sieve under running water to remove the salt and blended them with pine nuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, garlic, olive oil and a little water. I gave Faye a taste of the pesto and she gave it a big nod.
I spooned some of the pesto into an ice cube tray to freeze for later use and kept some in the refrigerator to use in the next few days. Depending on how it will be used I may or may not add grated Parmesan, Asiago or Manchego cheese.