Pesto Presto

No, my friends. Today’s Friday does not include anything of the fashion persuasion. Though I know how much you were looking forward to me regaling you with my take on sick fashion (which primarily consists of rants against why having to wear a bra sucks so much), I wore pretty much nothing but popsicle-themed PJ-shorts and Hello Kitty t-shirts for the past 3 days. So you’re outta luck.

Instead, I bring you more food! Funny how when I’m stuck at home with nothing to do but whine and sneeze, suddenly all my posts are about cooking again, eh? On today’s menu… pesto!


I mentioned on Wednesday that I had picked up a GINORMOUS bunch of basil at the Farmer’s Market over the weekend, and unfortunately it was started to turn pretty quickly (as fresh herbs tend to do). Having already exhausted my creativity in the form of caprese salad and tomato basil soup, there was really only one other way I could think of to use up the rest of the basil before it went totally south: the magic that is pesto!


I’ve made pesto maybe twice before in my life, so I am definitely no pro. I am a true aficionado, however, of EATING the stuff. I loooooove pesto. It’s so, so, so delicious. And for perhaps the first time ever, I just happened to have all the necessary ingredients at home. So there wasn’t even any need for me to go out and infect any of the poor checkout clerks at Giant. Not to mention, my sister also happened to send me a recipe for pesto salmon earlier that very day. Fate, I tell you! Fate!


For those of you who have never made pesto before, it’s really quite simple. It’s typically made with pine nuts, but raw walnuts or pecans can be used as a substitute. I had the latter on hand, so that’s what I went with. The other ingredients are as follows:

Fresh basil (duh)
Parmesan reggiano cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
Lemon/lime juice
Salt & pepper

Just toss it all into a food processor (or high speed blender) and go nuts! I don’t have exact measured amounts for you, since I’m a wing-it-in-the-kitch kinda cook, but in my experience the ratio kind of goes like this:

A CRAP TON OF BASIL: smaller amounts of everything else



Eventually, with a little tweaking (a little more basil here, a little more oil there, etc, etc), you end up with something that looks moderately passable:


Then, you spoon it over whatever pesto-carrier you choose (while I would have loved to try the salmon recipe my sister sent me, I opted for the much easier whole wheat pasta option instead):


And no, your eyes do not deceive about that side dish.


My beloved roasted brussels sprouts are BACK IN BUSINESS! Huzzah!


I topped it with a few pieces of leftover chicken from a couple of nights ago, and voila! Now your only job will be to fend off hungry beggars at the feast…



I was noting as I was nomming gleefully on my meal that pesto pasta is MUCH more filling to me than pasta with marinara. I don’t know if I just wasn’t as hungry, but one portion of pasta (which is usually not enough for me) topped with some pesto totally did me in. I wonder if it’s because of the higher fat content of the pesto (due to the olive oil). Either way, I ended up totally satisfied AND have enough leftovers for lunch today.

On the sickness front: I am back at work today but still relatively miserable. I sneezed approximately 7,000 times on my drive in this AM. Luckily, it’s Friday and it’s DC so there’s basically nobody here today to see my watery-eyed, sniffling, sad-looking self. Here’s hoping that this weekend will finally drive me back over the edge into full health mode!