Monday, July 27, 2009

Picky Eaters Need Not Apply

I like to think that I am pretty open minded about food choices. I like stuff; you like stuff; we don't have to like the same things. It is all OK. But, then the reality of cooking for someone day in and day out hits...

There are things that my husband claims to not like. Some, he refuses to eat at all. Some, he doesn't know that he eats on a regular basis. No, I am not that evil, I just don't always feel like catering to every one of his whims. (Tomatoes won't kill him, and in fact, have been proven to be very healthful in a man's diet.) It isn't that I don't want to create meals centered on his preferences. I want those who sample my cooking to enjoy it. But, I have my own likes and dislikes, and sometimes, I just want what I want.

So is the case with pesto. I love it. I hover over my basil plantings and eagerly await the time that they are full enough for a harvest. Fresh pesto is so fragrant, flavorful, and just plain good. Picky pants Hubby isn't sold. However, his point of reference is some nasty bottled stuff that I had once purchased many years ago while still learning and exploring food options. It was nasty. I don't blame him for not liking it, but basing all pesto on that first foul taste couldn't be more wrong.

Still, Hubby stood steadfast with his claim of not liking pesto until one Sunday afternoon of snacking. It was that twilight zone of time when it was too late for lunch and too early for dinner, but I was starving. A partial loaf of crusty, artisan-style Asiago Garlic Bread was resting in the kitchen and my basil plants were flourishing. A quick whirl in the food processor produced some Fresh Pesto while I sliced a ripe tomato (not yet from my garden...they are all still green) and grated a bit of Parmesan. Smeared it all together, threw it under the broiler to toast the slices of dense bread, and mmmmmmm.

Even Hubby couldn't resist this decadent treat. In an attempt to assert his anti-pesto stance, he called it "Fancy Garlic Bread," but we all know it was the smear of Pesto that made it great On My Plate.

Pesto Smeared Garlic Bread

sliced French bread (or similar artisan-style bread)
sliced ripe tomato

Pesto (see below)
grated Parmesan cheese

Slice bread thinly or thickly to your own liking.
Toast in oven until crispy, but not crunchy (unless you like crunchy).
Spread one side of each slice with Pesto. Top with slices of ripe tomatoes.
Grate a bit of Parmesan over the tomatoes.
Place on a foil covered baking sheet and slide under the broiler just until cheese melts and bread is toasted.
(Will be hot upon removal from the oven...take care not to burn the roof of your mouth with broiled tomato.)

Fresh Basil Pesto

2 cups fresh basil
1 cup Italian parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh is best)

1/2 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients in food processor.
Blend until mixture forms a smooth paste.

Can store leftovers in fridge for 2-3 days.


  1. Thanks for visiting my blog. This looks right up my alley. I will follow along.

  2. I have never tried to make pesto before. Mainly because I can't get fresh basil in the grocery store here and I haven't mastered growing it. If I am out of town soon I will have to find some basil and try this recipe out. Yum.

  3. It's perfect! And I'm just waiting for my tomatoes to ripen so I can do this with garden tomatoes. Love it!

  4. I love pesto, but hubby won't touch it. I have an abundance of basil right now, but I still don't have parsley. I'll make it without and share with friends. He doesn't know what he's missing. More for the rest of us!! ;o) It's good to see all this rain today...........

  5. :) I can't stand a picky eater. A picky eater in my book is someone who won't try anything. I think you have to "try" things a few times before swearing off of it. With that said I really don't care for tomatoes. Your garlic bread sounds awesome but hold the tomatoes! :) LOL!

  6. These look delicious! I love it when you finally have a triumphant "ah ha" moment and get someone to enjoy a food they thought they hated. Great job!

  7. I think your husband is my husband's long lost brother. His picky food? onions, zucchini...actually a very long list of veggies.

    This sounds divine.


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