Pesto: What a Gift

Pesto Recipe Ideas

Shame on me!  For I do not make my own pesto…Lord, my life sucks sometimes, I really ought to get it together to produce some home-made.  It is not so difficult or time-consuming and there is plenty of advice and good looking recipes out there.  So, when I get the time, here are a couple of methods from trusted sources that I might try out:

Gordon Ramsay’s Pesto Sauce from the Times

Nick Nairn’s Pesto from BBC Food

Little jars of Pesto, both the green, basil-based kind and the red, sundried tomato kind, rotate through my food cupboard with almost embarrassing regularity.   I cannot hack the version made with rocket, it is far too bitter for our tastes.  The Sacla brand is OK, but I prefer Waitrose own versions, and Sainsbury’s too, though I go on price.  The supermarket own-brand versions, especially if it’s their “finest range” can be more expensive.

I had to give away two jars I bought a couple of weeks ago, as the company had changed their ingredients, sneaking some chilli in there without checking with me first.  How very dare they. 

Why do companies tinker with recipes and forget to announce on the jar “new formula” so those of us who may have some stake in knowing this can double-check for ourselves?  I am not even asking for explicit wording, for example, I do not expect them to print on the label:  “We have changed our recipe so much Skyler that it might kill you now, so you’d better fish out your magnifying glass/ ugly handbag specs and read our tiny, tiny ingredients list”.  A little “New!” flag or other small indication is all that is required.

Rant over.  Below is my memory-list of favourite ways to use pesto:

  • As a stir through for plain pasta
  • As a stir though for plain ribbon pasta with a can of drained tuna added
  • Topping for a baked potato
  • Marinade for chicken breasts
  • Stuffing for chicken breasts with sun-dried tomatoes or oven roast tomatoes layered over, wrapped up in prosciutto and baked in the oven
  • Brushing over prawns or scallops before grilling or for the barbecue
  • Adding the tomato version to the sauce base for a sausage and bean casserole
  • Smearing over bread and warming in the oven
  • Topping for bruschetta
  • Add to ricotta cheese and use the mix in place of white bechamel sauce for vegetarian lasagne

Note to self: this is only the ones you can remember off the top of your head.  Also, from this list, should be investigating bulk-buying.


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