How to ruin any food: Pesto

Tonight I’m going to show you several ways to ruin pesto. Some might be easy and a few not so easy, but by the time I’m through, you’ll know how to ruin pesto.

Are you ready?

As always, just a quick note about this post:


 The rest of this post in intended to be humorous and not to be taken as new culinary treats about to sweep the nation. Any attempt to ingest the substances described below is not suggested and should be avoided. If you do attempt to taste any of the following food related ideas, please be warned that disgust, nausea and possibly even death could be the result.



The history of pesto is hard to pin down, which is normal for this series of posts. During my research I’ve come across references to it appearing first in the 1600s, another source claims that it was adopted from an ancient roman dish.

All anyone agrees on is that it originated in Genoa, which is in the province of Liguria, Italy.

What it is:

Pesto is a sauce made from basil, olive oil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and garlic.

The name can be roughly translated as ‘mashed to pulp’, and is traditionally made in a mortar and pestle, hence the name.

How to ruin:

To begin ruining pesto, first we need to look at the ingredients used in regular pesto:

  • Basil
  • Olive oil
  • Pine nuts
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Garlic
  • Salt

First off, let’s start with basil, we can’t really ruin this herb on its own, but we can add other herbs to it, just to extend it a bit. Try any of the following:

  • Licorice
  • Sage
  • Anchovies
  • Avocados

Next we have the olive oil, while olive oil can’t really be replaced in this recipe, I suggest sauteing onions in the oil first until they are nearly blackened, that should give the oil a bit of a burnt onion taste which will help to ruin the pesto.

Let’s look at the cheese quickly, we need to change it, that’s simple. Parmesan cheese tastes good, which is something we don’t want in our ruined pesto. I suggest using Limburger cheese instead. You can also use string cheese if you prefer.

Next we come to the pine nuts. I don’t like nuts, so I suggest using the only kind of nuts almost everyone can eat and enjoy, doughnuts.

As for the garlic, we can leave that as it is, or we can replace it with something else. Garlic grows underground, so any root crop will do for replacing it, here are a few suggestions:

  • Potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Rutabaga
  • Diakon radish
  •  Sweet potato
  • Ginger

Last we have the salt, a very important ingredient! I suggest replacing it with soy sauce if you want to remain with a salty taste, if however, you don’t mind changing it to ruin it, trying one of these:

  • Sugar
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon
  • Curry powder

Any of these changes will produce a ruined batch of pesto, use as many or as few as you wish.

My favorite ruined pesto is this one:

Basil, licorice, doughnuts (raspberry jam filled), olive oil, string cheese, garlic, parsnip and cinnamon to taste.


I hope these ideas give you a few ideas next time you need to ruin a batch of pesto. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I have.

Join me again next Saturday when I’ll be ruining another food. Thanks for reading!




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