Pan-Fried Brie with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Recipe

Pan-Fried Brie with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Recipe

I literally dreamed about this appetizer for like four nights in a row before calling it perfect and giving it a whirl. If you don't dream constantly about food like I do, please just act like I'm not a weirdo. Because OHMY-goodness this turned out delicious and it is totally worth the title.

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Slow Cooker Pesto Ranch Chicken

Slow Cooker Pesto Ranch Chicken

Why oh why have I not been posting recipes, you ask? Because I have been busy redesigning this website and trying to make it friendlier and prettier. And then I have been scrambling to fix mistakes because every redesign comes with inevitable accidents. Like absent-mindedly changing the url of every single post so that nobody can access a single recipe for three hours.

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Baked Brie with Artichokes, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Pesto

Baked Brie with Artichokes, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Pesto

Today was a "toughie," as my Elijah would say. We brought our oldest son to the hospital for what we thought was a routine surgery to peek on his left ear tube that didn't appear to be doing its job. We left the hospital with some unexpected news and with a much bigger surgery on our calendar.

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Tomato Pesto Bites

Tomato Pesto Bites

I love popping a scrumptious biteful of something into my mouth. Finger foods are so much fun! Sometimes I daydream about what it must be like to have a butler wandering around my home, offering me a tray filled with delicious finger foods. He then retreats to my over-sized kitchen so my personal chef can replenish the assortment of goodies.

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Pesto Pizza

So simple, yet so supremely delicious!

Last weekend my bff Heather traveled four hours to Minneapolis for a two-day visit. Oh how I love spending time with her. She is a girl's dream for a friend. She is fun, witty and adventurous. She loves to cook and drink wine with me. She is a great listener and a supremely supportive friend. I love this girl! Whenever we spend time together, we try to squeeeeeeze as many activities in as possible because there is always so much we want to do. So, last weekend, our Friday night plan was to whip up some pesto pizzas and then head to a local Mexican restaurant for a margarita. We accomplished both goals! Wooo!

Why pesto instead of pizza sauce? Well, because Heather and I both adore pesto and because I am constantly looking for new foods to combine with its scrumptious green-ness.

Heather prepared the crusts and I made the pesto (this time with walnuts!). We compiled our ingredients and started having pesto pizza fun. We loved creating all of the different combinations. By the time we headed out for our margarita adventure, we were pleasantly stuffed!

This post is merely meant to generate ideas. Nothing is set in stone. Grab a few different types of cheese, veggies, meat, sauces, whatever you wish, and throw them onto a pizza crust. We baked ours in a 350-degree oven for about 15 minutes.

This was our first attempt. Pesto, fresh spinach, Roma tomato slices, sliced red onions and fresh mozzarella cheese.

So simple, yet so supremely delicious!

This creation is one that my husband stayed far away from because it held mushrooms atop its splendor.

Pesto, mushrooms, Roma tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella cheese and sliced green onions.

This had to be my favorite creation. Of course, anything with sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes makes me weak in the knees. Pesto, fresh spinach, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, red onion slices and fresh mozzarella.

And I sure didn't complain about this one, either.

Pesto, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, red onions and fresh mozzarella cheese.

Ok, we could have branched out much more, but these were all the ingredients we had at the time. The options really are endless! Our little pizza night has inspired me to do some more experimenting. Maybe I'll head Heather's way one of these weekends with pesto and pizza toppings in hand.

More Uses for Pesto

This is a continuation of my original pesto post. As I continue to find more foods to spread pesto on or add pesto to or devour pesto with, I will add them here. Who knew I would fall so hard?!

Scrambled eggs with shredded mozzarella, pesto, salt and pepper. Eggs sans pesto will never be the same!

BLT with sprouts and pesto. Oh goodness, this is delicious.

Replace pizza sauce with pesto on pizzas and get creative with the toppings. You won't miss the sauce one bit!

Make a batch of tomato pesto bites for your next party. The perfect finger food!

Spinach Basil Pesto

So, so, so very tasty you will be sure to eat every last bite! Delicious with so many different foods.

My husband has a knack for buying the most perfect gifts without ever having to ask me what I want. He keeps his ears open and logs everything in the back of his brain for later use. Smart man, don't you think? Without fail, I am genuinely surprised upon opening at least one Christmas gift and one birthday gift every year. He's mine, you can't have him!

Because of all of the insane cooking and food photography I do these days, my thoughtful husband knew that I might enjoy a fun new kitchen toy. I mentioned wanting to make some holiday hummus recipes a while back, and lightly lamented about not owning a food processor. A week later, as he stood in the kitchen making dinner, he said to me, "Will you go peek in storage and let me know if we have any toilet paper? You know, the soft kind?" What the...?? Being in the tired fog that encumbers most of my sleepless life as of late, I opened the door leading into our storage room to look for TP for my husband. Who was cooking.

And what do you think I found? A shiny new food processor, of course! EEEEeeeeeeee!!!!! Jumping, squealing, clapping and high-fiving all followed. And then I sat down to write out my list of Food Processor-Related Recipes To Make!

This pesto recipe was one of the first foods to meet my new toy, and it is so. so. so. very. tasty. We tried it in/with so many different foods, and it did not last long at all. We wiped every single smudge of green from that bowl.

Gather the following ingredients:

1 cup fresh basil leaves

1 cup fresh spinach

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup pine nuts (can I take a brief moment to say HOLY GOODNESS, pine nuts are expensive!)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Ground black pepper, to taste

Throw the basil, garlic and pine nuts into a food processor.

Pulse until coarsely chopped.

With the food processor running, gradually add the olive oil and process until smooth.

Transfer to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and black pepper.

Alternative options for this recipe:

Replace basil with 1 cup fresh parsley, 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary leaves and 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme.

Substitute walnuts for pine nuts if you don't want to spend FIFTEEN DOLLARS on a tiny jar.

Ebby had mentioned to me that she loved adding pesto to rice, so I gave this a try. I added to it: chopped red bell pepper, chopped tomatoes and chopped jalapeno peppers. It was FANTASTIC! I made this at 10:00 in the morning, and it was gone by 10:15. Nice.

I threw a few spoonfuls of pesto into cooked spagetti the following morning, for another mid-morning snack, along with chopped tomatoes and a sprinkling of black pepper. Again, FANTASTIC.

And then for lunch that same day, because by this time I was a complete pesto addict, I made this delicious pesto crab grilled cheese sandwich.

And that night, guess what?! More pesto! Wooooo! We used it as a dip for cubed, cooked venison steaks, veggies and pita bread.

And by that time, our pesto bowl was empty, sides licked clean and all.

Please share your own pesto recipes/uses!

Spinach Basil Pesto

Good until the very last bite! Don't be afraid to try it with a wide variety of foods!

Contributed by Megan Porta from pipandebby.com.

Published Nov 30, 2010

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Serves: 6

Total time: 15 min

SpinachBasilPesto"

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ pine nuts
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
Instructions:
  1. Place basil, garlic and pine nuts into a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. With food processor running, gradually add olive oil and process until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and stir in Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Alternatives: Replace basil with 1 cup fresh parsley, 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves and 2 tablespoons fresh thyme. Substitute walnuts for pine nuts.