Wednesday, February 20, 2013

caprese, Hominid-style

When I say "caprese," I don't just mean basil, mozzarella, and tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Along with the aforementioned components (which you see ringing the plate), I've got a salad in the middle composed of leftover iceberg lettuce, tuna mousse (tuna, cream cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, olive oil, Italian seasoning), sliced cucumbers, olives, bacon crumbles, hard-boiled eggs, green onions, and feta. The sauces: balsamic vinegar and pesto for the caprese; balsamic garlic dressing for the central salad. The pesto came from a bottle, and was positively awful. It was probably the most acidic pesto I've ever tasted. Too much vinegar* or lemon juice or something. I would have been better off making my own, despite the expense (a large Costco bag of pine nuts costs an insane twenty bucks).

Still, despite the bad pesto, the salad was most excellent. No, I didn't eat the whole thing: I've doggie-bagged half of it. For tomorrow. And given all the extra tomatoes and olives and cukes, I see a Greek salad in my near future. I just need to buy a red onion.

*I normally wouldn't even mention vinegar in association with pesto, but this bottled pesto tasted positively vinegary. And it was runny, too-- way too runny for a proper pesto.



Elisson said...

Maybe it was pisto.

Kevin Kim said...

Indeed. What's frustrating is that the stuff smells like pesto.

I should have either (1) waited and gone to Costco to buy a legitimate pesto (I've bought the Costco version before; it's not bad) or (2) bought the ingredients to blitz together some pesto of my own.

Charles said...

Frustrating indeed. Does the bottle list an acid in the ingredients? To the best of my knowledge, pesto doesn't have any acid ingredient, does it? I've always made it with olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, basil, and parmesan.

Have you thought of growing your own basil? We've found that basil works very well as an indoor potted plant. We've had varying levels of success with other herbs, but basil grows like a dream. Just keep a few plants on the windowsill, make sure they have enough water (basil can be very thirsty), and you've got fresh basil whenever you need it. Just make sure it doesn't flower (you'll want to nip that in the bud, literally).

Kevin Kim said...


Some versions of pesto have lemon juice (see here, for example) to add a bit of freshness.

As for the acid in my Kraft pesto, I looked at the ingredients, and...

...vinegar. It's the second ingredient listed, and as you know, ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. Did I call it, or what?