Monday, October 24, 2011

When it comes to pesto, I am a purist...but this is an exception

I've been a bad blogger, I attended the ProBlogger event in Melbourne on Friday where I learned all kinds of new stuff that hopefully will lead to some short and long term goals for this blog that I'll probably update with you later. Including all the lovely people I met.  And trust me when I say, I meant to write about all that over the weekend, but on Sunday I suffered from another Cyst Episode Too Many: Except not a cyst because ultrasounds show I don't have any and Doctor's are perplexed (I don't expect this title to gain ground in the movie industry).  For the first time, Inspector Climate witnessed an episode from beginning to end and I'm embarrassed to admit the extreme pain only lasts like 20 minutes (IF THAT). It feels like hours and I seriously just don't know how people with chronic pain or "real" pain do it.  To make me not look like a total wimp To be fair, it was so bad that my body started pulling all the blood from my extremities so that they started to lose feeling - terrifying.

Anyway, I feel better now after a full night's sleep, I even sat up this morning using my own abs instead of Inspector Climate's muscles. True story.

No, today, I really wanted to discuss pesto with you. I love pesto and have grown up spoiled, eating it freshly picked (or freshly picked then frozen for winter use) from my mom's garden. In fact one of the main plans for my planter box is to grow basil by the .... um ... planter box so that I can start freezing some for our winter.

So when I found this recipe for Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto over at Oh she Glows I knew I had to give it a try.  Except that here's the thing, we didn't have any basil, the market didn't have any organic basil (and herbs are one of the things I insist on buying organic) and so, instead, I made...

Roasted Tomato and Cilantro Pesto

You'll need:

9 large roma tomatoes (I would use more like 15 I think in the future)
1/2 cup almonds lightly toasted
2 garlic cloves
1 cup tightly packed of basil or cilantro
1/4 cup of olive oil, plus some for drizzling
Salt and pepper
Pasta for two or three

First, cut your roma's in half lengthwise and preheat the oven to 400 F.  Then be ye not as stupid as I  and put down a piece of parchment paper over your cookie sheet before putting your tomatoes on said sheet.  Trust me, I learned this the hard way.  Then drizzle olive oil over your tomatoes and some salt and pepper.

Cook for about an hour and some minutes (I probably overcooked mine slightly). If you have neglected that integral step, as I did, of using baking paper carefully remove tomatoes from burnt areas of the pan don't worry, they'll be fine. Measure out about 1.5 cup of tomatoes.  I only had 1.5 cup of tomatoes, but if you have extra set them aside.

Toast your almonds in oven at 325 F for 8-10 minutes.  Use 1/3 of a cup and put them in your food processor to be pulsed a few times, I wanted them to be a bit crunchy so I left the chunks pretty big.

Remove from processor and set aside.  With food processor turned on, drop garlic in until it is well and truly chopped up.  Then add your cilantro or basil to the garlic and process until it is well chopped. Add in oil and tomatoes and process until smooth. Then add in the 1/3 cup of already chopped almonds and some salt and pepper to taste, pulse until smooth.

 Roughly chop the remaining almonds and if have any left over tomatoes chop those as well.

 Mix the pesto through your cooked pasta.  Sprinkle roughly chopped almonds on top and some of the leftover chopped roasted tomatoes if you have any.

Oh She Glows is a vegan blog, and I hope she won't think I've trashed her recipe by adding some grated parmesan on top (although to be fair, it TOTALLY didn't need it). 

I ended up having enough pesto left over to have it for lunch on pasta again the next day AND I spread it on crackers while I was at work. It is absolutely delicious.  Using cilantro instead of basil adds a bit of a Mexican salsa feel to the pesto that is altogether lovely. But I am still eager to try it with real basil!  Yum!

What are you cooking up this weekend?


  1. Wow! I really hope you get your strength back today and start feeling better. Thanks for the recipe, I love pasta and pesto, how lovely that the two go together as well! Can't wait to try it.

  2. I hope you are gonna be OK. Wow, what a weekend.

    Love the pesto recipe!

  3. Hi this is Nicole from Colie’s Kitchen I just discovered your blog and wanted to drop by and say hi. I am now a new follower. I would love to have you stop by Colie’s Kitchen if you get a chance.

  4. Oh Yum! This looks fabulous. AND I hope you start feeling better soon! So frustrating I bet!

  5. I am glad you are starting to feel better! I'll be praying for you.

    This pesto looks so yummy, I wonder if I can make it without almonds...hmmm...

  6. That looks really good. I haven't made homemade pesto in a long time but I really need to.

    Wow...ouch. Just ouch. I hope the doctors figure our what the heck is causing your pain. It sounds awful! :-(

  7. Oh my feel better soon! I'll be sending you positive thoughts.

    And this recipe sounds delicious. Thanks so much for sharing it :) xoxo

  8. You may know from reading my blog that I think cilantro tastes like SOAP, and thankfully, I have a pot of fresh basil growing in the window, so I think I'll take the liberty of substituting!

  9. I'm sorry to hear about your episode!! I am also a wimp when it comes to pain but just prefer to say that I'm sensitive LOL. Nice recipe but I'd rather that you mail me the plate of pasta...So yummy looking!

  10. Oh noo it sounds like you've had a hard time, I really hope you're OK and the pain stops attacking you soon, it sounds horrible!

    On a more positive note, the recipe sounds and looks amazing :) xx

    Visit The Other Side Of Cool
    Tweet me! @othersideofcool

  11. That pesto sounds really good. I have had pesto thought floating around the back of my brain for a while now. I think it's definitely time to make some now!

  12. Sending positive thoughts your way and hope you are doing okay. Love the recipe!


  13. I'm sorry about your cyst episode. I remember my own episodes too clearly.

    The blog event sounds fun! I've been wanting to attend one.

  14. doesn't look too pretty but I bet the taste makes up for it. YUM!

    This weekend I made a vegan broccoli soup and a really pretty veggie bake that I'm posting tomorrow. :)

  15. WOAH. Are you ok?! That is insane and nobody thinks you're a wuss. Feel better, fuerza!

  16. Looks delicious, as always. I want to try out a recipe to make gluten-free corn tortillas, since I've been advised to go the gluten free road.

  17. Vanisha - Let me know how it goes!

    Ellie - It is DELICIOUS. I'm feeling much better thank you

    Colie's Kitchen - Thanks for stopping by! Can't wait to check you out.

    Alexa - So yummy! I am feeling better!

    Teachergirl - I sent you an email, but totally doable without almonds!

    Date girl - It definitely isn't pleasant! make pesto!

    Alternative wife - let me know if you make it!

    The Zadge - yes, I did know you feel this way! Let me know how it tastes with basil!

    Oneika - Well, I don't think you'd want my pasta - it's gluten free and definitely tastes it! But the sauce was divine.

    The Othersideofcool - The pain is all over, now i am just sore and tired from so much spasming.

    Kristin - Make it! let me know if you use the recipe and how it goes.

    Fashion meets food - Aw, thank you!

    Jamie - TOTALLY YUM

    Titleless blog - You should definitely give it a go - I found them a bit intimidating because I'm pretty shy!

    Hannah - I know right, presentation is something I need to work on, but it definitely tastes AMAZING.

    Kyle - Aw, thank you! It was really intense.

    Azra - corn tortillas are super simple to make! I promise.

  18. I went to a blogger conference on Friday and learned so much more about blogging, networking, etc. I came out of there with some of my own goals and ideas. It's overwhelming -- in a good way.
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  19. Hi Diedre, thanks for stopping by my blog! yes, even one-on-one convos make me nervous if they feel like I'm defending myself, promoting myself, etc. It's like an anxiety reaction and quite annoying.
    I've had a couple episodes like you just described which don't show up on ultrasounds because the cyst has already burst, which feels exactly like you described. It sucks!
    Hope you feel better!

  20. sounds AMAZING!!

    feel better FAST!

  21. oh i went to reply to your comment on my blog, i always like to reply via email and your email address is not enabled.

    did you know that?

    this means that you spend so much time leaving lovely comments on people's blogs and they have no way of responding to a question or thanking you for stopping by or just continuing the conversation...because instead of your email address all they see is "no-reply comment".

    sad right?

    you can fix that if you like.

    just go to your dashboard, click edit profile and click show email address and then click save profile.


    and i PROMISE if you change this blogging will get even better and become even more fun!

  22. I hope you're ok!!! It sounds like it was really bad :( Hopefully it never happens again, I have my fingers crossed for you.


    ps. So happy you posted that recipe because pesto is my favourite thing ever!

  23. That recipe looks really good - I wish that tomatoes were still in season here! Now one thing about the start of this post - you were talking about the goals of a blog- boy, I'm in trouble 'cause I have no idea that I needed goals!! I've got to get crackin' on this!!

  24. Bonnie - Totally overwhelming. And yes, in a good way, Mostly.

    Daydreamer - I might email you to get more information about your experience! YES totally overwhelming have to go up and say hello to strange people!

    Mamarazzi - I am sorry my email address wasn't listed. I was aware of it. I'll think about changing it.

    Many COlours of happiness - Pesto is SOOO delicious. Let me know if you make it!

    Laughing Mom - Hah, I know right. A good goal is just to have fun! So keep that in mind :)

    Krysten - it WAS.

  25. mmm, pesto! looks yummy. i'm so sorry about your pain. i've been having panic attacks a lot more lately. it's completely different and i'm not trying to compare my experience to your painful experiences, but i do understand the myriad of emotions that comes with having your partner witness things you really wish you could keep hidden. ugh, that's so hard.