May 30, 2011

Cashew-Pesto Pasta

The obligatory introduction to whoever is bored enough to actually read this:

Hi, my name is Maja and I don't eat to live; I live to eat. I created this blog -- which was originally intended to be a webcomic about irradiated, sentient potatoes, but we all know that sweet corn is the superior vegetable -- because I have all these recipes percolating in my head with nowhere to go. And because I have nothing better to do with my free time. :( So until my cooking gives me food poisoning or until I get a life, this blog will be the outlet for my epicurean (mis)adventures and boredom. Oh, and prettyyy pictures! Let's not forget the pretty pictures.

Okay, on to the fun stuff.


Pesto has always grossed me out. Ever since I was a kid, the idea of eating pesto has always been commesurate with the image of me bovine-ified, grazing on grass. Imagine the indignity! My ancestors didn't work their way up the food chain for me to eat leaves.

At least, that was before I read David Foster Wallace's Consider the Lobster and Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals. Now, I still eat meat, but it's an informed, if uneasy, choice. And, somehow, even the juiciest steak is just a bit too hard to swallow now.

Now I try to eat more vegetable-based dishes; I have never eaten tomatoes before this day, but when I saw Rachel Ray's Cashew-Pesto recipe, I couldn't resist. Pops of cherry red on a bed of white bows flecked with the green of spring? If only broccoli and spinach were this adorable!

You can find the recipe here. I modified it a bit by substituting Panama oranges (calamansi) for lemon. I also didn't have parmesan cheese at home (gasp, blasphemy) so I made do with cheap quickmelt cheese instead. But it's okay -- I made up for the poor quality by making it extra cute and cutting out heart-shaped chunks of cheese! A closer view:

The result was a medley of flavors from the subtle citrus kick, sweet roasted cashews, earthy parsley infused with fresh garlic and... okay, so I only ate one tomato.

You can't say I didn't try.

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