Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Scales, Ales, and Sneaky Pesto

Last Friday Erik and I attended a fundraiser at the Audubon Aquarium. Yes, now that we live in New Orleans we are the type that attends fundraisers. Next thing you know we will be lunching and summering and verbing all sorts of other nouns.
Scales and Ales attracted us because one: all you can eat and drink, and two: the opportunity to see penguins. Also it raised money for sea turtles and marine mammals, which seems like a good thing.
It was very dark and crowed at the event, so I don't have a lot of great pictures. But we ate donuts (from blue dot!), gorgonzola cheesecake, beignets, tomato crostini, kettle corn, cupcakes, hot dogs (Erik), and had many glasses of wine and beer.
I pet a snake, but we didn't get a shot of that. Me petting a giant fake clam will have to stand in.
Please excuse my Michelle Bachmann eyes.
A childhood dream come true for me.

This fellow was an all white alligator.
The sponsors of the Gulf of Mexico tank...
On to the sneaky pesto!
We had pizza night last week and of course I used my never-fail quick pizza crust recipe. But the sauce, oh the sauce is where the innovation came in. 
Just about my favorite color.
Broccoli Pesto 
Inspired by a recipe from an old copy of Sunset Magazine

2 cups frozen broccoli florets 
1/3 cup walnuts
1 big handful of fresh basil
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 t. salt

Turn oven on to 400 degrees. Toast walnuts on a baking sheet for 4 minutes. Watch these carefully! Meanwhile defrost the broccoli and drain excess water. In a food processor (or magic bullet) pulse to combine broccoli, nuts, basil, garlic, and oil until relatively smooth. Add cheese and salt and blend until well mixed. There, you have sneaky broccoli pesto!

This stuff was addictive. I might make a double batch next time and have it over pasto or quinoa. We topped our pesto pizza with mushrooms, olives, and fresh mozzarella and baked it at 450 for 12 minutes.  Delicious! 


  1. 1. Super cute dress.
    2. I wish I got to go to the donut store with you.
    3. How do you feel like walnuts were vs. pinenuts? I really love pinenuts, but they are so $.

  2. 1. Thanks!
    2. When you come visit we will go to it like a Mecca
    3. The $$ are exactly why I went with walnuts. I felt like they were a good substitute. Got them in bulk so they were really cheap!