June 15, 2012

Pesto Calabrese

This has been a long week, sorry for the lack of posts. I promise I will be back to regular blogging next week. So without further ado, pesto. Growing up there was one food that my mother absolutely adored, eggplant. My father and I however, we not fans in the least. I would literally groan with my mother would come in from the farmer's market with a big bag full of eggplant. She was a good sport and tried recipe after recipe to no avail. When I was in college I survived on coffee and pancakes (really I did, it was cheap for a whole box and I paid my own way through school). I didn't think about or eat eggplant for many years after moving out of my parents house. Then I met my husband and wouldn't you know he loved eggplant as much as my mother had. So what to do. Well, I decided that instead of fighting against the eggplant I would surrender. That didn't mean that I wouldn't find some great recipes to try and hope that maybe, just maybe eggplant could be redeemed. It turned out that as an adult I love eggplant, when cooked the right way. One of the ways that I have found that my whole family loves eggplant is in pasta, so I was quick to want to try the new Pesto Calabrese recipe in a recent issue of Saveur magazine.

This recipe has 9 ingredients. It takes 45 minutes to prep and cook and makes 1 1/2 cups of pesto. I had no problems finding any of the ingredients and made no ingredient modifications. My onions took slightly longer than the 10 minutes suggested by the recipe. I really don't watch the clock when caramelizing onions, I just watch until they are adequately browned. After all the ingredients were combined I cooked them an additional couple of minutes to ensure all the flavor was released. Most important of all make sure to salt. This pesto requires a decent amount of salt in the finished dish, so don't be afraid of the salt shaker. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.

I like the idea of this dish. Eggplant is delicious in pasta dishes, but this pesto needs a few changes. I found the pesto to be to sweet with not enough flavor to compensate for the sweetness. I would suggest adding crushed red pepper flakes. This would give the pesto a much needed kick and the amount can be adjusted to suit your tastes. Alternatively chili oil might also work if you have it. With the addition of a little heat I think this pesto would be a great way to use eggplant.

For the recipe go to Pesto Calabrese.
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