Herb pesto, naan bread.

I picked up some organic mozzarella from whole foods the other day so I could try my hand at making flat bread pizza. Then I came across this pesto recipe used on a pizza in an old issue of Sunset Magazine ($.29 at savers). I remember the first time that I made pesto I used basil and it turned out perfect but, the next couple times something missed the target. I think it was that I couldn’t find that original recipe and the others couldn’t quite live up. I didn’t have basil around this time but I did happen to have a couple bushels of cilantro, parsley and mint so I figured I’d go ahead with Sunset’s “Perfect pesto” recipe using all three herbs (equal parts cilantro and parsley with about 6 mint leaves). I already planned on using kalamata olives and going a little Mediterranean with it so I figured why not use a little mint and cilantro. It tasted awesome and I’ll be using this basic pesto recipe from now on, no more searching, definitely some experimenting with herb combos but no more measurement/amount alterations.

One of the things I always look for is that perfect recipe for something. The one that makes me say, okay this is it, the one that ends the search, the one that everyone will love and say damn he makes an amazing [insert food]. Pizza is not one of those things for me, hummus on the other hand I’ve got, buttermilk ranch yep, cashew chicken still not so much, pesto is now good to go.

This naan bread came out pretty good but still not as great as I wished. I did substitute some ingredients for healthier ones but, I think I’ll keep trying for that perfect flat bread. My obsession/inspiration is this place right up the street from us called Herbs and Rye. J and I ate there for the first time right before going to see Best Coast at the Cosmo and we’ve hit it a couple times since (we both love their flat bread pizzas). When I find something I love I have the urge to try and make it at home. This worked well for the fix but the search continues for the perfect flat bread/naan.

Below is an mp3 of Best Coast, if you like you can purchase it here here. They’re great!

Best Coast - When I'm With You

Herb Pesto

This recipe is from the Best of Sunset Summer Flavors a Sunset Magazine publication.

1/4 c. walnuts
1 1/2 c. lightly packed herbs of choice, basil, cilantro, parsley, mint, mix and match
6 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. garlic, minced
6 T. extra-virgin olive oil (I was going to cook on pizza so I used a high heat oil like peanut)

Heat oven to 350 degrees and bake walnuts on a cooking sheet for five to eight minutes, lightly browned. Combine walnuts and all other ingredients in a food processor and blend until coarsely pureed. Makes 3/4 cup.

Naan Bread

This recipe is from The Joy of Cooking cookbook.

2 c. bread flour
1/2 t. sea salt
1 1/8 t. active dry yeast
3/4 c. yogurt or buttermilk, at room temp
2 T. melted butter or vegetable oil
1 t. to 1 T. spring water as needed

Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients and mix well. Knead for ten minutes and then place in a oiled bowl. Turn to coat and cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours. After 45 minutes into the rising start heating a pizza stone in the oven at 475 degrees. Let stone heat up for 45 minutes on lowest oven rack. After dough has risen punch down and divide into 4 balls and let rise again for an additional 20 minutes covered with plastic wrap. Roll dough balls out into 8×12 inch ovals. Brush with melted butter and slide onto stone cooking until it starts to puff up, about two minutes. At this point you can remove and add toppings. Return to just long enough to melt cheeses/heat up toppings.

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  1. Posted February 1, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    This looks great. I love making naan bread and then using it as base for pizza. Works so WELL!

  2. Posted February 2, 2011 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    Kulsum – I agree, and I’m sure that you have a way better recipe for naan/flat bread than the one I got out of the Joy of Cooking cookbook. I’m putting your blog in my feed as we our house adores Indian food. I’ve attempted Korma once before but it needs a little work. I’ll be pulling something from your blog to cook soon, possibly one of your Korma recipes. Finally I like your use of the Walter Turncoat font on your site, great pics too!

  3. Posted February 2, 2011 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Now that’s interesting!
    I NEVER thought of pesto made with other herbs,
    only basil.

    And I too have that urge to try and make at home
    foods I eat out and enjoy.
    I’m a begginer, though.

    Cheers from Brasil!

  4. Posted February 2, 2011 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Flora – If you search for pesto on tastespotting or foodgawker you’ll find all kinds of funky pesto, even some that use edamame. I’m a beginner too, it’s just fun for me, an escape. I also like cooking myself so I know what I’m putting in my body. Brazil looks so beautiful! Cheers back from America!

  5. Posted February 2, 2011 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    love the concept. First time at ur space and loving it !

  6. Posted February 2, 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Sonia – Thanks! Checking out your site and loving it as well! I’m loving the fact that two of you that have commented have blogs with great Indian recipes. Like I said before, we all love love love Indian food in our house. There is a great little place up the street from our house an my six year old daughter always requests going their when it’s “her choice”. She even makes up her own little Indian tune and dance with it, 100% adorable I tell ya. I will absolutely be making some of your recipes, keep posting them.

  7. Posted February 3, 2011 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    This looks great. I love fresh naan bread and pesto and what better than combining the two!

    I’d love for your to submit them to Vegolicious, a vegetarian food photo gallery where readers can browse beautiful photos to discover new recipes and wonderful blogs. If you would like to share this recipe with our readers please submit a photo along with a link to this post.

  8. Posted February 3, 2011 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Vegolicious – I like your vegetarian only gallery site, I’ll try it out, thanks!

  9. Posted February 6, 2011 at 3:39 am | Permalink

    I wanted to thank you for sharing your cheese enchilada recipe. I linked to it through Food Gawker. I have been searching for a good recipe for enchiladas for quite some time. The recipe that you featured was amazing. My family loved it! Thanks!

  10. Posted February 7, 2011 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    Erica – Thanks for sharing that, I love those type of comments the best.

  11. Posted July 1, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    I already made this at home this week – delicious and it was so great in the midst of the summer. Thanks!

  12. Posted July 26, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Brittny – That’s awesome coming from a site all about pesto.