Thursday, November 19, 2009

Market to Table - Playing with Pesto

My absolute favorite way to eat pesto is to slice open one of my homemade whole-wheat rolls, slather it with pesto, and top it with a nice thick slice of homemade tomato. Mmm. Honestly. It's heaven on a roll!

But my backyard tomatoes have not yet ripened, so with two gorgeous jars of homemade pesto given to my by a wonderful friend, I decided to do a little experimenting and see what else I could come up with. Let's see...

Salad Dressing

With about half a dozen heads of leaf lettuce needing to be harvested from the backyard garden, this week needed to include some serious salads and pesto sounded like a wonderful ingredient for a dressing. After a quick search on-line, I found two recipes that looked wonderful:
For the first, I used a lemon and some olive oil from the farmers' market. For the second, I used store bought balsamic vinaigrette and dijon mustard. The pesto and lemon dressing was tangy, but good. The pesto vinaigrette, however, was an absolute favorite!

The salad itself contained leaf lettuce (backyard garden), green peppers (backyard garden), carrots (farmers' market), mushrooms (grown 40 miles from home), dried cranberries (farmers' market), and pecans (TAMU pecan orchard). The photo here was the salad that used the pesto vinaigrette. Mmmm!

Pesto Potatoes

More leftovers: I had some boiled red potatoes (farmers' market) and steamed green beans (backyard garden) in the fridge leftover from last week. Sunday night, Dave and I decided to put together a simple dinner of both with a small side salad. Before heating up my plate of potatoes and green beans, I sliced the boiled potatoes into quarters and drizzled just a little pesto over top. Yep. Pesto and potatoes go together quite nicely!

Pesto dip and Crackers

The friend who gave me the pesto said one of his favorite ways to enjoy it was on crackers. I happened to think that was an excellent idea. So I whipped up a batch of my homemade whole wheat crackers (honey and whole wheat are local) and used the pesto as a dip. What a great snack! But it also sounds really good as a side next to a bowl of my homemade italian soup...

Of course, there's always pesto pizza and pesto on just about any kind of noodle (or spaghetti squash). Even after all this fun, I still have a full jar of pesto left. I'll keep nibbling on salads with my leftover pesto salad dressings awaiting the day when my tomatoes have ripened. That last jar is destined for tomato sandwiches, my little heaven on a roll.

In the meantime, what other ways have you used pesto in recipes?


Beany said...

Besides the ways you use it, I've used it as sandwich spread. Mmmm

Marcella Brown said...

i'm gonna try this today. and hope for the best tomorrow....

Heather @ SGF said...

Beany - Sandwich spread is definitely my favorite. I like just tomatoes though. What do you put on yours?

Marcella - Let me know how it goes!

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