May 10, 2011

Not for the faint of heart or keen of olfaction

Garden Variety Wednesday # 5 link up
May 11 until May 18

In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare writes, "And most dear actors, eat no onions nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath."

Good thing we're not actors over here because hardly a day goes by that we don't cook with onions and garlic.  And lots of them.  One garlicky dish we enjoy this time of year is pesto.

The Husband came up with this roasted garlic pesto one summer when the basil started elbowing its way around the garden.  I think he's pretty clever for using roasted garlic and the oil the garlic roasts in.

Roasting the garlic mellows it.  But we like to add lots of raw garlic too.  Just for grins.  But closed mouth grins.  It would be evil to breathe this on someone.

During Garden Variety Wednesday #4, I had some tips for dealing with excess herbs.  Pesto being one of them.  A couple of others that came to mind...

* Herb compound butter: soften butter and mix in any combination of chopped herbs you like.  Shape into logs in plastic wrap and freeze.  Great on steaks, added to pasta or vegetables.  One of our favorites is butter, blue cheese, chives, and parsley on top of grilled steaks.  Another good one is basil and lemon or orange zest for chicken or fish.

* When all else fails, decorate!  I love to have vases of herbs in the kitchen.  Easy to snip from while cooking.  Nice to look at.  Also provides great scents when you brush against the plants.

On to the pesto...

You'll need garlic that's been roasted in a fair amount of olive oil (because we'll use that too), raw garlic, basil, toasted pine nuts, Pecorino Romano, Parmesan, salt, & pepper.

I just love this picture.  Those plump roasted garlic cloves make me smile.

Add everything except the oil to a food processor and pulse until broken down.  Drizzle in the roasted garlic oil.  Add more olive oil until the mixture is a thin paste consistency.
Come see. 
Don't worry I haven't eaten the pesto yet.
Gonna let you in on a little secret.  Sometimes (but not always) I add a touch of cream to the pesto.  I get a little rebellious like that now and then.

Toss with pasta of your choice.

Another pesto I really dig is Parsley-Almond Pesto

Linking this recipe with
Garden Variety Wednesday.
Don't forget to link up yours!

Printer friendly recipe
Roasted Garlic Pesto
from The Husband

7 cloves of garlic, 3 raw & 4 roasted (see note below)
about 2 1/2-3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
4 Tbsp Pecorino Romano
4 Tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 1/2-3 Tbsp lightly toasted pine nuts
reserved roasted garlic oil
olive oil

Submerge 4 cloves of garlic (skin on) in about 1/4 c olive oil (or submerge an entire head of garlic and have extra for something else).  Roast at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Garlic should be soft and lightly browned.  Remove garlic to cool and reserve the oil.

In a food processor, add the basil, cheeses, pine nuts, salt and pepper.  Also add the peeled roasted garlic and the raw garlic.  Pulse until ingredients are chopped.

Drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the roasted garlic oil while the machine is running.  Add more olive oil to get the consistency of a liquidy paste.

Toss with pasta and serve right away.

Note: this can be made solely with roasted garlic.

Linking up this week with:
Make a Food-"e"-Friend Monday #12 @ The Saturday Evening Pot
Made it on Monday #9 @ Lark's Country Heart
Tuesdays at the Table @ All The Small Stuff
Hearth and Soul vol 47 @ A Moderate Life
Delectable Tuesday @ Home Sweet Farm
Tip Day Thursday @ Around My Family Table
What's Cooking Thursday @ Feeding Four
Potluck Friday @ EKat's Kitchen
Fresh, Clean & Pure Friday @ la bella vita
Foodie Friday @ Little Brick Ranch
Presto Pasta Nights #213 hosted by Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes 


  1. I think that husband of yours is a keeper. I love the flavor of roasted garlic and it sounds like a great way to flavor pesto. I also love the idea of adding a touch of cream to just about anything...including pesto!

  2. That pesto looks delish! Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

  3. Don't you just love the food processor,. I liked your photos of that, the process and all.

    Yum! Garlic - bring it on! It's always a welcome addition to meals in our house. Love it.

  4. I know! It was to have been MANY MONTHS since I had a day that I didn't use garlic or onions, and lots of them :), the sauce looks amazing! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  5. Wonderful pesto ! I love roasted garlic !

  6. Pesto is one of my all time favorites!..especially with garlic and pasta. Oddly enough I rarely eat it as much as I would like...

    Great post and thanks for sharing at the hearth and soul hop.

  7. Sounds like dinner to me. :)

    Thanks for linking up!

  8. The idea of roasted garlic is just awsm.. i make pesto all the time and you bet we can't stay without onion and garlic. Wonder Why i never though of using roasted garlic. Have to try this next time :)Glad you shared it with hearth and soul Hop!Please do share next week too !

  9. Roasted garlic pesto...could anything be better? And why haven't I thought of that? Sounds fantastic!

  10. Your homemade pesto looks and sounds wonderful. :) Plump roasted garlic cloves make me smile too! Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I truly appreciate it. Have a wonderful weekend.


  11. Wonderful recipe! I love your pretty herb vases for the kitchen--how often do you water them? I found you from ekat's kitchen potluck. If you get a moment, I'd love for you to swing by and share this on Momtrends:

  12. Anonymous5/14/2011

    This looks wonderful. I am so grateful spring/summer are here and I can have fresh herbs in my garden again!! Thanks for linking up to Foodie Friday. I hope to see you again next week!!

  13. Nothing like a good pesto if you ask me! And even better when you can use herbs that you grew yourself! Delicious.

  14. Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment, everyone.

    Nicole-I add water usually every other day. I also pull out any stems that wilt (basil with large leaves doesn't last very long). Sometimes mint will root in the vase.

  15. oh that pesto looks like it was made perfectly!


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