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Storing pesto

Can anyone tell me how long freshly-made pesto may be successfully stored in the refridgerator? 

Also, does anyone have any interesting pesto variations, using herbs other than basil, they would be happy to recommend?

Both Mint and Cilantro make lovely pestos.  You can prepare them the exact same way that you would a basil pesto.  Cilantro is my favorite, but I'm a HUGE cilantro fan. :P


I make pesto from scratch and it can easily be stored for
a week. It stores much better than basil. I think this is
because the oil helps protect the basil from going bad.
I always use basil, but switch around the types of nuts. I
uses walnuts a lot.


when i have extra pesto i always add it to some vegenaise to make a delicious pesto aioli spread for sandwiches...yum!


If you are making the pesto from scratch, then I wouldn't expect it to hold more that about 2 weeks in the 'fridge.  The oil helps keep the plant matter from oxidizing so fast (that's why it stays greener longer) but STILL CAN provide a home for little bio-organisms that can reproduce and make you sick.  Without heat, botulism can survive in oil.

For longer term storage, I put batches of pesto in plastic zippy bags, roll the air out, and keep them in the freezer.  They will last months this way.

If you're short on or want a change out from Basil, try adding in some Parsley.  Another thought is to try some of the MANY other forms that Basil comes in - like lime or Thai, or use the purple ones for a different colour.  Bon Apetit!


Thankyou for the feedback.  Walnuts sound good BradTheVegan and certainly cheaper than the delicious pinenut.  Are pinenuts as exorbitantly priced in the US as they are in NZ?  Pesto Aioli is a great idea curiale.  Using different varieties of basil appeals to me HeyRed.  I'm a huge coriander/cilantro fan too MegMarie, so I shall definitely try that variation, probably using half Italian parsley, which I have mountains of in my garden. Finally, I wonder, has anyone ever tried lightly toasting the nuts before using?




Today I made Isa's pesto from "Vegan with a Vengence" cookbook. It is delicious!!! It uses toasted walnuts. I had to hide it in the back of the fridge so my husband wouldn't eat it all before I make pizza tomorrow!


Toasted walnuts definitely sounds promising.  And fits well with notions of economy.  Thanks Lezly for confirming my suspicions that it would be worth trying.

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