Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thyme, Sundried Tomato, and Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Of all the things I’m good at, there are still a couple things I wish I could do better. This week, it’s drawing and French. I’ve long accepted the fact that I can’t draw to save my life, but I still hold out hope for French. It’s always been one of my secret dreams to study abroad in Paris during university so I can eat French pastries and logic would have it that some knowledge of the French language would be necessary.

So I’m taking grade eleven French. I had always planned my high school career around French and history class, the two classes besides the mandatory English and math that I knew I wanted to take. But since I started this senior level French class this year, I’m not so sure anymore. Sometimes, I feel so behind and lost that I want to cry. I’ve even considered dropping the class, but I know that I won’t because I don’t want to have a spare.

In an attempt to improve my lack of French skills, I decided to borrow some French reading material from the library. As I paced back and forth, I scanned the shelves for some relatively simple French books that wouldn’t bore me to death. I picked up the French audio book version of one of my favourite books and a small colourful paperback about the invention of poutine.

And then I saw it: the cookbook section. There were shelves upon shelves of cookbooks, and all of them in French. What better way to learn than to immerse myself in something I was already interested in? I grabbed one of Ricardo’s French cookbooks and signed it out. As I flipped through the cookbook, a few of the recipes caught my eye, even when written in a vaguely foreign language. Take this Thyme, Sundried Tomato, and Pumpkin Seed Pesto for instance. Even as I google translated every other word, I knew that I wanted to make it.

This pesto is delicious on pasta, vegetables, or fish. I’ve also tried this as a spread on sandwiches and let me tell you that this pesto really packs a flavour punch store-bought mayo or margarine spreads can’t compare to.

Click below for the recipe.

Thyme, Sundried Tomato, and Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Adapted from: Ricardo: Parce qu'on a tous de la visite
Yield: about 1½ cups

  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup sundried tomatoes
  • ½ cup olive oil,
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese 
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste


In a small saucepan bring about a cup of water to a boil. Add the sundried tomatoes and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain the tomatoes and put them into the bowl of a food processor. Add the pumpkin seeds. Pulse until very roughly chopped and then add the olive oil. Whirl until smooth, adding more olive oil as needed. Add the cheese, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse until combined. Serve with pasta, vegetables, fish, or as a spread for sandwiches or crackers. Trust me, this pesto can liven up any sandwich and actually make it taste good.


  1. Mhmm, that pesto looks delicious! :) I've never made homemade pesto before but I can imagine it tastes better than store bought. :)

  2. Wow, this looks awesome!!! I never thought of putting thyme OR pumpkin seeds in pesto. Genius!

  3. Si t'as besoin de quelqu'un pour pratiquer français, je pourrais t'aider... comme tu veux. J'habite tout près de Paris en fait :)

    Great looking pesto Kyleen, and good luck with your studies :)

  4. That pesto has all my favorite ingredients. I wish I had stuck with Italian in college. I passed Italian 1, but I learned next to nothing, so I don't know enough to do Italian 2, and I can't retake Italian 1. Good luck with your class. I think language immersion in Paris is probably the best way to learn.

  5. Hello Kyleen :)
    Just dropping by to tell you that I've nominated you for the Liebster blog award. It's an award to support the newer blogs as such. For the details please drop by:


  6. Merci beaucoup!

    Unfortunately, my conversational French doesn't go past that very much. All we learn is grammar points and read stories and answer questions.

  7. What a delicious twist on the traditional pesto!

  8. what a lovely combination of flavors! the pesto looks amazing and qith such a lovely color

  9. Too bad there aren't French soap operas on tv. I feel like that would be an awesome way to learn. Maybe a French trashy chick lit novel?

    But cookbooks are certainly the next best thing! This pesto sounds awesome.


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