Cultivate Simple Podcast in iTunes Chiot's Run on Facebook Chiot's Run on Twitter Chiot's Run on Pinterest Chiot's Run on Flickr RSS Feed StumbleUpon

Savory Saving

September 10th, 2013

This week it’s starting to feel like fall, of course that means it’s time to start harvesting herbs in earnest for winter cooking. I’ve been harvesting all of my oregano, which I use quite often in cooking. Many of the herbs I harvest get dried and stored in glass jars in the pantry. Thyme always lives in a pot in the house because I think fresh thyme is so much better than dried.
preserving herbs 1
preserving herbs 2
Basil is also an herb I love to preserve, most of it is eaten as pesto and most of that is eaten in the winter. Yesterday I made 5 batches of pest for the freezer. If you’re looking for a good recipe, I love the one from Simply Recipes. If you’re going to freeze it, leave the cheese out.
preserving herbs 3
Pesto is such a great way to save summer in a jar to enjoy in the middle of winter and it’s super healthy. It’s definitely worth having around, the garlic and basil will help keep you fight off winter colds. I think there’s enough basil in the garden for a few more batches, I’ll wait to make those until frost threatens.

What do you think about pesto: love it or leave it?

22 Comments to “Savory Saving”
  1. Emily on September 10, 2013 at 5:39 am

    I love pesto. Arugula and cilantro also make great pesto sauces.

    Reply to Emily's comment

  2. pam (Sidewalk Shoes) on September 10, 2013 at 6:59 am

    I’ve started to harvest too! Unfortunately my basil did not enjoy this wet summer. I haven’t had a single harvest, whereas I usually have 3 or 4! I’m hoping I’ll at least get one in the next few weeks if it stays warm and dry.

    Reply to pam (Sidewalk Shoes)'s comment

  3. Jennifer Fisk on September 10, 2013 at 8:04 am

    I love pesto. I make pesto from my garlic scapes and now I will be making pesto from my very strong basil and garlic. Pretty special when the snow blows in January.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  4. Nebraska Dave on September 10, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Susy, no fall weather here. I was 100 degrees yesterday with predicted 95 today. High humidity makes for a real steamy day. I’ve heard folks talk about pesto but never tasted it that I know of.

    Have a great pesto making day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

    • Susy on September 10, 2013 at 9:22 am

      You would probably LOVE pesto, especially now that you’re learning to love the flavor of herbs in your cooking.

      Reply to Susy's comment

    • Misti on September 10, 2013 at 11:29 am

      Dave, I completely empathize with you on the heat. Overcast today, so much more pleasant. Will be at least six to eight weeks before we cool down enough for jackets.

      I’ve never had a problem adding in cheese and freezing it in my pesto.

      Reply to Misti's comment

  5. Joan on September 10, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Hi Susy, We love pesto and I usually make up a huge batch of it. Due to a failure in my garlic crop last year (white rot) I wasn’t able to plant any garlic, so no pesto this year either… I just purchased a new batch of garlic to restart my population – it will take a few years to build up to a good size crop though. In the meantime, I will freeze up some basil probably in ice cubes so that I’ll have it to use throughout the winter. And I may purchase some extra garlic to make at least a little pesto…

    And Nebraska Dave – you just have to try pesto – it is so delicious! We freeze it up in ice cubes and throw a cube into almost everything that we cook.

    Reply to Joan's comment

  6. Amy P on September 10, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Where do you get your pine nuts? I’ve had bad experiences with buying rancid/bad ones and would love to find a reputable online source.

    Reply to Amy P's comment

    • kathi Cook on September 10, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      Me too!

      Reply to kathi Cook's comment

    • Susy on September 10, 2013 at 7:10 pm

      I get organic pine nuts from I’ve always gotten lovely, fresh ones. I soak mine overnight in salt water and then dehydrate them just like I do my walnuts using the directions from Nourishing Traditions. You can see my post about how I do it here.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Amy P on September 10, 2013 at 8:45 pm

        Thanks for this! Exactly what I have been looking for.

        to Amy P's comment

  7. Marcia on September 10, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I love pesto. I experiment with differents herb and nut combinations; parsley and roasted almonds, basil and sweet peanuts. They are always yummy. I freeze them in ice-cube trays and drop a cube in soups, in dips, in pasta sauce etc.

    Reply to Marcia's comment

  8. amy on September 10, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Adore it! A recipe I tried this summer by Paul Hollywood…..Was the roasted veg picnic loaf…..He used pesto as it’s base sauce…..AMAZING…..especially if you bake your own bread…..make your own pesto…..and grow your own veg! Here is the recipe for anybody wanting to give it a whirl…..

    Reply to amy's comment

  9. denimflyz on September 10, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Do you have to do anything special to pesto before you freeze it, besides leaving out the cheese? Do you need some type of stabilizer in the pesto? Do you freeze in freezer bags, or do you or can you process pesto into small jars and water bath them to seal?

    Reply to denimflyz's comment

    • Susy on September 10, 2013 at 7:08 pm

      Nope, I just put it in a jar and throw it in the freezer. Technically you can’t waterbath can it since it’s a low acid, but you probably could pressure can it, I don’t have any experience with it though.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. elizabeth on September 10, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    I like homemade pesto, but don’t eat it too often since it has so much oil. I have a lot of basil cubes for pesto in the freezer, I just puree the basil with some olive oil and salt and add the rest of the ingredients later. Thanks for reminding me to dry some oregano, I might dry some mint as well and maybe pot up my thyme, since it doesn’t survive the winter here.

    Reply to elizabeth's comment

  11. Trish on September 10, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I just freeze basil straight – no pretreatment, no ice cubes. A man from Sicily told me about this. Then I can make pesto in the slower winter time. And I use walnuts instead of pine nuts. Much cheaper.

    Reply to Trish's comment

    • amy on September 10, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      Trish~you just freeze the leaves? Then what….put them in a baggy or jar in the freezer?

      Reply to amy's comment

      • Trish on September 15, 2013 at 5:06 pm

        I put the leaves straight into a freezer bag and into the freezer. Easy peasy. and I add to the bag as I pick more.

        to Trish's comment

      • amy on September 15, 2013 at 9:55 pm

        Thank you~Trish~This will suit me much better than having to make all the pesto all at once!

        to amy's comment

  12. Theresa on September 10, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Love pesto. Make it all the time. We use basil, also tulsi, lettuce, whatever greens we have.

    Reply to Theresa's comment

  13. Lemongrass on September 11, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Love pesto on toast, in soups, on pasta, and steamed veggies. I sometimes make mine with raw, unsalted sunflower seeds, but soak them overnight. The pesto comes out creamy, even without cheese. My favorite is combining basil and dill to create a mouthwatering pesto.
    Dave, give it a try, you will love it. Pesto and tomato on bread makes a simple and quick breakfast for me.

    Reply to Lemongrass's comment

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply to Joan

Reading & Watching

Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

Read previous post:
Cultivate Simple 44: Stew 4.0

So, on this weeks episode we get caught up on what has been happening Around the Run and we have...