Saturday, November 17, 2007

pesto. . .that great green stuff

I used to be scared of pesto. not scared like it was going to jump out of the closet and eat me, but I didn't know what it was, or what I could do with it, or even what it looked like! in college, (and after we first got married, when we had cable) I loved to watch the food network. so when I was in the computer lab I would get on their webpage and look up recipes.

And I discovered pesto. But I could never find a picture of it. Only recipes that used pesto in them, or recipes for pesto itself. Ok, I probably could have found a picture of what pesto looked like, but I didn't ever put forth that effort.

for those of you who don't know what pesto is, it's a mixture of basil, olive oil, and pine nuts all pureed into an almost liquid form. Hence, it's green. Yes, there are other ingredients as well, but I'll let you google it to find a recipe, or go to the store and buy a bottle.

About 2 years ago was the first time I tried pesto. I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into though. for one, I didn't know it was green. I know, I know, the basil leaves in it should have given me some sort of hint. We went out to dinner for someone's birthday at the pizza factory, and I didn't want pizza, so I decided to get the ravioli's with a creamy pesto sauce. I was a little worried about it because I didn't know if I'd like the flavor at all, or what it would look like or anything. And everyone was discussing it! I'm not sure why, but they were all curious as well.

My dish comes out, and it's a light green sauce over my ravioli's. And there was a LOT of it as well. But it was fantastic. Since that experience was so good, I've started using pesto on a regular basis. I have yet to make it, mainly because I can't justify spending the money on fresh basil, when I can buy a jar of pesto for about the same amount as just the basil!

Matt's a huge fan of pesto, and he likes to use a lot at a time. Usually a small spoonful will suffice a bowl of noodles. Unless you're Matt, then you need a HUGE spoonful. We use it in all sorts of things as well. I make an alfredo lasagna with it (helps get rid of the alfredo flavor, which we really don't care for). You can make dips out it, and a new recipe I haven't tried with it, is baked chicken (breaded) with a little bit smeared on top with some cheese. That one sounds tasty.

Last night I was cooking up some ravioli's for dinner and was making our creamy pesto sauce for them, and I finished off the jar of pesto I was using. I was a little worried! so I checked my fridge and I found two more open jars of pesto in there. so I had three open jars of pesto that I didn't know about. I wasn't too surprised. I bet it happened when matt was making dinner, and he just opened a new jar because an open jar in the fridge didn't jump out at him. I finished off one of the jars, so now there is only one jar of open pesto in the fridge.

That's another nice thing about pesto, it can last for a LONG time open and not go bad. So for all of you who haven't tried pesto, go buy a bottle (or make your own if you're ambitious!) and give it a shot. for those of you who have had it, cheers! Don't you want some more now? I do, in fact that's probably going to be dinner tonight or tomorrow.


  1. Yeah... I've never really been a fan of pesto. Which doesn't surprise me now that I realize I don't much like Bazil either. Who knew. Another Italian thing I dislike, although I really only dislike pesto and I loath gnocchi. It's disgusting, and I think I was first introduced to pesto with gnocchi which is why I don't like it so much.

  2. Ooh, I love pesto. I've made a pseudo-pesto at camp a lot with dried basil from the commissary. Mostly it's just olive oil, dried basil, minced garlic, and parmesan cheese, so it never was creamy like the stuff you buy in the stores, but it was always really good! =)

  3. My dad is religious about fresh basil. That's why he grows his own. He'll grow it in the garden in the summer, and he'll grow it in pots in the winter, inside. A packet of seeds isn't too expensive at all. Definitely the way to go. In my family, we love the sandwiches with fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, fresh tomatoes, and basalmic vinegar. Especially good if made on foccacia bread. YUM!