Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme: Robust and rubicund, this sundried tomato pesto pays homage to Simon and…

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme: Robust and rubicund, this sundried tomato pesto pays homage to Simon and Garfunkel and is my answer to never having enough basil for pesto through the dreary days of winter. Gather ye all herbs while ye may, Old Thyme still a flyin’! (With apologies to a certain 17th century poet).

• Flecked through with a medley of bright green herbs, flavored with the mild nuttiness of pignola and a tang of parmesan cheese, it makes its way through the crooks and crannies of any small pasta. To reach a higher flavor bar, toss together with roasted cauliflower florets caramelized around the edges (fancy phrase for burned bits) to bring out the natural sweetness.

• Begin by disassembling a head of cauliflower with a few judicious cuts from the bottom end and breaking up the rest into approximately similar sized florets. Don’t slice through with a knife. That’s so gauche! I mean, this arboreal creation has been obliging enough to provide you with natural branch points that fall apart into elegant bite sized floral ornaments…..

• This quick and delicious pesto is also chock full of antioxidant, antimicrobial goodness. Did you know that the terpenoid phenols in plant essential oils kill fungal pathogens while promoting survival of our own cells? Carvacrol, thymol and eugenol..lovely words that roll off your tongue as beautifully as Parmigiano Reggiano!

Recipe and Assembly Instructions: https://madamescientist.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/parsley-sage-rosemary-and-thyme-my-sundried-tomato-pesto/

Robert Herrick (1591-1674) “Gather ye rosebuds” poem: http://www.bartleby.com/101/248.html

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40 Responses to Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme: Robust and rubicund, this sundried tomato pesto pays homage to Simon and…

  1. Jane Tsai says:


    make my hungry!!!!!

  2. Jane Tsai says:


    sorry, didn’t notice that typo…:P These photos make “me” hungry!!!! :DDDDD


  3. It’s breakfast time, but I would totally mack this pasta right now. Thanks for sharing, will have to make this!

  4. mary Zeman says:


    Delicious AND scientific- love it!

  5. Just A Guy says:


    That sounds and looks delicious.

  6. M Vatvani says:


    It must be Yummy….!


  7. now i’m hungry AND i have ‘Sacrborough Fair’ playing in my head 🙂


  8. If I could only have one type of food for the rest of my days it would definitely be pesto in its many variations,


    I’m salivating just looking at your variation Rajini

  9. Vijaya Gopal says:


    good look food but food is good ?


  10. Ooh, that looks nommy! Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, eh? Thanks for also pointing out the reference in one of the sets of guns in Bayonetta 🙂

  11. Rajini Rao says:


    LOL, Johan De Meersman , I had to google that! (I don’t play video games, no surprise there). Here is what I found: “Her weapon of choice, Bayonetta fights with four pistols, one in each hand and one attached to each rear of her high-heeled shoes. Prior to setting out for Vigrid, she receives a set of four mystical pistols crafted by Rodin known as Scarborough Fair. Named after the old English ballad, the guns are named Rosemary, Parsley, Sage and Thyme.” Terry Hallett , Agree totally..never can have enough pesto!


  12. Mmmmmmm… I’m going to call my personal chef in, my lovely Tomas J. Luis Alemany , so he can make it for me. 😛


  13. Are you really going to murder and eat the little man with the black hat standing in the lower left corner?

  14. Rajini Rao says:


    Still looking for him Ralf Muschall ; perhaps he ate his fill and left? 🙂

  15. Rajini Rao says:


    There he is! I see him now. And he is wearing a beret, not a hat 🙂 I would never consume him, Ralf Muschall 🙂


  16. Rajini Rao That looks really nice. However, is it not the case the antioxidants have no benefit in the diet and have been shown to be harmful? (I read that in Ben Goldachre’s book Bad Science). They are great in the blood and should be great eaten but are not, apparently.

  17. Tom Lee says:


    Wow! Rajini Rao that is a good Italian dish. I should get a take-out when you have a chance please. On the other hand, anti-oxidant, anti-microbial versus transfat, saturated fat, high sodium, high cholesterol ingredients, which will win the battle here?

  18. Rajini Rao says:


    Tom Lee , boxing it up to go for you right now 🙂

  19. Tom Lee says:


    Yum Yum ! Thanks 🙂

  20. Gail Barnes says:


    I adore sundried tomato pesto! Wish I could cook!

  21. Rajini Rao says:


    But Gail Barnes !!! Boiling a pot of pasta and smooshing stuff in a processor is hardly cooking..you can do it 🙂

  22. Gail Barnes says:


    Don’t laugh, Rajini Rao but I don’t own a processor to smoosh stuff in! That said, your post looks good enough to eat!!!

  23. Tom Lee says:


    Rajini Rao your picture looks good enough to be on Zagat! 🙂

  24. Rajini Rao says:


    Oh I doubt it, Tom Lee 🙂 Food photography is a profession whereas I’m just pointing and clicking. But you are so kind!

  25. Ross Straud says:


    Thank you… i will try to cook this for the other students……Hmmmmmmmm


  26. Huuuu ….. i feel hungry… 🙂

  27. Ross Straud says:


    i think caramelized means burned sugar…not burned anything else..so to caramelize the cauliflour you need to dip in honey or something sugary first….+Rajini Rao

  28. Rajini Rao says:


    Oh there is natural sugar in cauliflower, Enaa Zausen , and some vegetables have much more than others. Caramelizing onions, for example, is a slow process of browning that is well known to bring out natural sugars and impart a distinct flavor. No need to add sugar or honey 🙂

  29. Gail Barnes says:


    Browning aka Maillard reaction!

  30. Rajini Rao says:


    Mike McLoughlin , I was going to get back to you on your question but things got away from me as usual! Here is my take on the subject: there is no doubt that oxidative damage accompanies aging and neurodegeneration and also no doubt that antioxidants can help reverse or prevent some of this either in cultured cells or in animal models. The problem comes with extending the observations to humans, who are not ideal model organisms! Cold water has been thrown on claims that consuming a lot of antioxidants in the form of pills or supplements has detectable effect. I believe seeing the opposite, as you say (similarly, with Vitamin D supplements, etc.). The problem is that human diets are so varied and complex, and impossible to control from person to person. Then of course, we are genetically so different (all mice in an experiment are from exactly the same breed). I don’t put faith in supplements, in any case a complex mixture of compounds found in the actual plant source is probably more effective (and safe) than consuming a single purified component.


    It is interesting to consider the differences between chemotherapy , in which we throw a large amount of chemicals at a person and hope that it works on a disease already in progress (relatively easy to evaluate the effect), versus chemoprevention , in which smaller amounts of compounds could be consumed over long time periods (but would be difficult to evaluate). The old saying..an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure! So, I’m all for herbal goodness 🙂


  31. Thanks Rajini Rao for the wonderfully comprehensive reply 🙂


  32. Fantastic reply, Rajini Rao 🙂

  33. Gail Barnes says:


    A brilliant reply indeed Rajini Rao.


  34. Fica muito difícil de entender.,somos brasileiros e nem todos falamos ou entendemos ingles

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