Your unconscious mind ever play a trick on you that your conscious mind decided to take seriously?
It’s happened to me often and it happened again the other day: I saw a recipe title in Southern Living, one of my favorite magazines for easy, practical recipes (with no apparent limit on fat content; can you say “Paula Deen?”).I read “Hot Bacon PESTO Salad.” Bacon Pesto! I NEED to know how to make that. Like Bacon Jam, the creation of the “Top Chef” candidate who has a pig tattooed on his chest (or somewhere; I personally have not seen it and don’t care to).
Scanning for the recipe I found my error: the instructions were for Hot Bacon POTATO Salad. Borrrr-ing! Been there. Made that. Don’t like hot potato salad.
But that didn’t daunt me completely. I began to imagine what a bacon pesto might, in fact, be.
Bacon, toasted nuts (walnuts?), Pecorino Romano, a touch of bacon fat. But what herb? Then I thought about a sandwich I had the other day, with prosciutto and arugula. Arugula’s nutty, slightly biting flavor would do much to keep the pesto from being too rich.
Pesto, you know, means paste. It doesn’t mean basil-cheese-pine nut paste; that’s just the best-known form of pesto, credited to the city of Milan. But I’ve been told there are more than 100 forms of pesto in Italy. And, in fact, anything that conformed to the basic requirements — a chunky, uncooked ground paste for dressing pasta, gnocchi and such — might “legally” be called a pesto, whether or not it was, in fact, edible.
So I’m going to invent a Bacon Pesto Salad and see how I do. One thing I’ve got going for me: Bacon can pretty much do no wrong in my kitchen. All I have to do is stay out of its way, enhance its rich, sweet, smoky properties and de-emphasize its greasy fattiness. I am the dog in the canince treat commercial: ba-con (whisper), Ba-con (assertive), BA-CONNNNN! (howling)