Storing pesto in jars

Discussion in 'Recipes & Remedies' started by pippimac, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Messages:
    475
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've read that pesto will keep for ages if the basil's dry and it's properly submerged under olive oil in sterilised jars.
    We had our first freezing Southerly blow this weekend and I raced out and cut the basil before the cold turned it to black mush.
    Last year I froze batches, but for all sorts of reasons, not least that freezing ruins the flavour, I'd rather not again.
    I'm a bit nervous: even using cashews and sunflower seeds, it's not cheap and I don't want it to ferment on me.
    Any tips?
    I'm really hoping it's a weather aberration since I've got loads of tomatoes and peppers that are miles away from ready.
     
  2. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,676
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Make your pesto without seeds at all. Just oil, garlic, parmesan cheese. This is all i put in and its excellent. Much less expensive too.

    I had a lot of basil earlier. So I made one batch and exhausted myself doing it since our gadget is not so good. So with the rest, i just left it in the fridge for another day or two. I had it already washed and roughly dried and sitting in open colander. Like you, I was worried that it would all be ruined before I could get to it so I didn't wait too long. But it was fine. I think i may have also wrapped it up loosely or covered it in a teatowel

    My sister always wraps lettuces and other delicate greens in a teatowel when putting in the fridge. This stops them drying out, getting dripped on, and other sundry misadventures.

    I think it would be important to make sure the leaves are not soaking wet when you put them away. But a little dampness probably helps them too. Just don't wait too long before using.

    But again, make your pesto without the silly seeds - yummy though they are. They are really not necessary.

    Finally, cover the pesto with a layer of oil before putting on the lid. Use lots of olive oil in your recipe. I think my original recipe was something like 2 cups leaf, 1/4 grated parmesan and a 1/4 cup olive oil. 1 clove garlic and black pepper. (I don't know how much pine nuts.) I don't follow a recipe these days. I just make it to taste.
     
  3. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I made large batches of pesto this time last year - with either pine or macadamia nuts, and stored them under olive oil. The tops have gone a little dark, but I just scoop that out and the rest is perfect even now.
     
  4. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2,721
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    inland Otago, NZ
    Climate:
    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
    Do you keep them in the fridge, eco, or at room temperature?
     
  5. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    0
    In the fridge.
     
  6. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Messages:
    475
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Cool, I won't be freezing then. How about storing in the pantry? I assume generations of Italian women did it...
    My frdge is smallish and shared with a flatmate, so if I can avoid putting anything in it, I will.
    I'll be making large quantities of lactically pickled things over the next few weeks and fridge-space will be at a premium for long-term storage.
    On a vaguely related note, anyone made fermented salsa, or anything really, using green tomatoes? Looks like I'll have a few! I don't really eat bread or chutney, so aside from making truckloads of greeen-tomato chutney as gifts, it seems like a bit of a waste making it.
     
  7. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I was a bit too scared to try the pantry but I think it would be OK. After all the jars in the stupid-market aren't refrigerated.
     
  8. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,676
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What about sun-dried green tomatos?

    Or green tomato paste?

    Just a thought, given what people do with green mangos and green paw paw and other green things.
     
  9. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Messages:
    475
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've now got loads of pesto, both in the fridge and the pantry. If I remember to keep an eye on the pantry batch, I'll stick it in the freezer if it looks funny.
    I'm really hoping the weather holds and I don't have to get creative with green tomatoes; I'm not that crazy about them, but after all this time growing the things, I feel duty-bound to eat them.
     
  10. Speedy

    Speedy Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Pesto storage

    Pesto storage

    I like the original recipe
    -Pesto Genoese- basil, pecorino cheese, garlic, pine nut, olive oil, salt

    tall narrow jars are best as there is less surface area to expose to air (the enemy of pesto).
    those tall, so called spaghetti jars, I call them pesto jars.
    put pesto into clean jars, cover with olive oil and seal with lids.
    place in water bath up to just below the lids and bring slowly to 80-90deg C (pasteurization temp is 82-85degC).
    hold the temp there for 30min them allow to cool in the water bath.
    then check after 24-36 hrs to see that the lids are still sealed.
    If not re-pasteurize.
    store in a cool dark place

    once opened keep in cool pantry or fridge and
    use within a couple of weeks, making sure that oil covers the surface
    of the pesto to keep it 'fresh'.
     
  11. Speedy

    Speedy Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Preserving Green Tomato

    Here's a few hints for preserving them... well this is what I'd do

    I'm making it up based on what I've done with other veges.

    Capsicum (green toms are a bit like capsicum) done like this are great.
    Zucchini (skip the cooking step and just soak in vinegar/water 1hr) are unbeleivably delicious and chewy crisp.
    If I open a jar, I find it hard not to demolish the lot :p


    cut the green tomatos into halves or quarters and squish out the seed pulp.
    put a layer of tomato into into a bowl and add salt in layers-a fair bit ...dont be a scared of it,
    it's to draw out moisture and put a bit of salt into the flesh as preservative -trust me it'll be fine :nod:
    add another layer of tomatos and salt keep going till they're all done.

    now put a plate on the tomatos and a few bricks onto the plate.
    the salt will draw out moisture and appear to fill up and cover the plate.

    next day, drain the juice/brine and squeeze them out more if you want.
    loosen them apart.

    rinse or even soak in fresh water if they're too salty,
    mistakes with this sort of thing are easily rectified

    and usually you get a feel for it after a couple of goes at it and
    'know' how to apply it to other produce and how to respond to certain results along the way.
    maybe they only need salting for a few hours so you taste them at various stages and respond accordingly.



    mix vinegar and water 1:1 (250ml of each should do depending on the quantity of tomatos)
    in a pot and bring to boil
    drop them in and bring back to boil for 2-3min
    remove, drain and dry.


    into clean jars pour just a bit of olive oil in to cover the bottom
    then pack tomatos in tight
    adding some herbs (any of fresh basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, fennel or whatever you want)
    roughly crushed (or whole) garlic cloves
    dried chili flakes, fennel seeds
    as much or as little as you want
    it's all to suit your own taste.

    then top up with oil and work the air pockets out of it and put enough oil to sit on top.
    seal and leave to stand 3-4 weeks....if you can:D
     
  12. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Messages:
    475
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    An update on my 'pesto under oil in the pantry experiment'...
    I've regretfully put it in the freezer: it was starting to get a sharp 'fermenty' taste, which will get more intense I suppose.
    Either oldschool Italian mamas didn't have a winter pesto stash, or I'm missing something.
     
  13. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,676
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Then try my recipe without the nuts. Maybe its the nuts that are going rancid. I opened a jar of my nutless pesto the other day and it was completely fine.
     
  14. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Messages:
    475
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's very much a 'vegetal' sort of taste, more like the basil itself going. Interesting yours tastes fine. Not storing in the fridge?
    It's the end of the season anyway and I won't be getting more basil.
    Next year, I'll have it sorted out...
     
  15. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,676
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    End of the season? Oh ok. yes i keep mine in the fridge. Maybe you didn't put in enough oil.
     
  16. Speedy

    Speedy Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    did you try pasteurising as suggested in post #10?
    that's what the Italian mama's and nona's do.

    nuts will go rancid if they are in contact with air, moisture and light.
    ie they oxidise and or grow molds, some dangerous to health.

    oil keeps out the air and storing pesto in a dark place will help
    against mold growth and also help retain better colour.
     
  17. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I checked my Steph Alexander book and she says to store in the fridge after making.
     
  18. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2,721
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    inland Otago, NZ
    Climate:
    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
    I agree with speedy. It's not safe to store food in oil for long periods where there is risk of spoilage, so either bottle it or keep it in the fridge (or add preservatives). I'm not sure if what speedy describes is pasteurisation, I'd call it bottling or canning, and that needs to be done with care and skill because it's possible to not kill all the bacteria, mould and other microbes that can become pathogenic.

    btw, any leafy green is likely to cause spoilage if there is too much water content. Did you wash the basil before making?
     
  19. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Messages:
    475
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I somehow missed the pasteurisation post.
    I'd thought about it, since I bottle all sorts of stuff all the time, but then I thought about getting the cheese to pasteurisation-temp and decided that sounded gross, and didn't. Bad idea, clearly!
    The other recommendations/ideas chime with my 'method': narrow jars in dark pantry, dry leaves, good layer of oil etc.
    It''s all in the freezer and I'm pretty sure if botulism, or some other greebly was in there, I'd be laid out by now.
    I'll try pasteurising it next year.
     
  20. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2,721
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    inland Otago, NZ
    Climate:
    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
    You're probably right, and there is a point where we have to stop being scared about bugs. But the problem with something like botulism is that it can grow at any time once the conditions are right (I think botulism spores are around alot, but not a problem until certain conditions occur). Maybe do some more research on that. It may be fine - basil may kill botulism anyway, but on the other hand...
     

Share This Page

-->