Veganizing TV Classics Ted's "Killer" Peanut Pesto From ‘How I Met Your Mother'; PLUS Vegan Food Glossary! Randi Milgram

Ted Mosby is the worst, am I right?

I love How I Met Your Mother, and I’ll loyally watch through good and bad (cough *current season* cough). It’s one of my best-known sitcoms, which is noteworthy if only because I caught the first 6 seasons solely through reruns in London (thanks, Channel E4 and your only airing HIMYM and The Big Bang Theory). But, regardless of my adoration for most of the cast and most of the episodes, the main character – the “I” in the title, for chrissakes – is the worst.

josh

Note to Josh Radnor: I like YOU, just not Ted

Sure, I want Ted to have a happy ending, and now that we know he gets to marry a super-talented Tony nominee, we’re finally near that happening. (Finally.) But part of me just wants to steal his stupid red cowboy boots and lock him in the chokey while I laugh maniacally outside and he yells through the bolted door “No no, you mean I make you ‘nauseated’, not ‘nauseous’”. Grahhhh, I like the actor who plays Ted, and I like that Ted apparently grows up to be Bob Saget. But the character is self-absorbed, whiny, and so focused on settling down that he tends to disregard good things that actually exist in his life.

One relationship that actually seemed to improve Ted’s character, at least in the short term, was with Stella (Sarah Chalke), the dermatologist who lasered off his butterfly tramp stamp. I really liked Stella. She was a good doctor and mother, and she confidently handled herself with the others in the group. But for a while, that’s all we knew, and that’s all Ted knew too. They rushed into an engagement after Ted’s brush with death, before really getting to know each other. Soon after their engagement, when Ted first cooks for Stella, we learn one of the most important lessons the show ever taught us: Not Sufficiently Knowing Your Fiancé Can Be Deadly.

Ted: “But can you guess my secret ingredient?”
Stella: (Choking) “Peanuts…”

Ted makes his special pesto for Stella’s first dinner over, and Stella forgets? doesn’t deem it important? to tell Ted that she has a food allergy. Okay, that’s believable. Not like she’s a doctor or anything. As Ted, with that ever-present smirk, asks Stella if she can guess the secret ingredient in his pesto, she squeaks out ‘peanuts’ as she clutches her throat and falls to the floor. Cue the ambulance sirens.

Although I’m sure we’d all like to, we can’t blame Ted for this one. Who on earth doesn’t mention a peanut allergy when eating? And when eating NUTS? I know people with peanut allergies and there’s no way in hell they’d eat an apple without verifying that it wasn’t going to kill them first, as they should. This is quite the logical leap the writers asked us to make, and I’m still kind of making the McKayla Maroney face about it. To calm down, I decided to finally see whether Ted’s idea for amazing pesto actually works.

It does.

 

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You beautiful green plant, you

TED’S PEANUT-PACKED PESTO

Recipe notes: IT HAS PEANUTS. DO NOT EAT IF ALLERGIC TO PEANUTS.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bunch fresh basil (about 2C loosely filled)
  • 1C raw (unroasted) plain peanuts
  • 2T fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2T olive oil
  • 1T nooch (optional)
  • dash salt and pepper (to taste)

 

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DIRECTIONS:

1. Mix everything in a food processor.
2. Put on food.

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To crazily amp up the fresh summer vibe, serve over raw zucchini noodles. (This way, you avoid killing people allergic to gluten as well.)

I was really skeptical of using peanuts in pesto, especially after a friend said, “Ew, wouldn’t that be like peanut-buttery?” It’s not. Particularly because we are using raw peanuts, the taste is mild and close to the cashew-based pesto I usually make. (I haven’t used pine nuts in pesto in virtually a decade because 2 tablespoons cost $31 dollars and a toe.) I would make this again, and I’d like to experiment with roasted peanuts to see how the taste deepens.

So, nice job Ted. You did something right.

 

Click through to the next page for a Vegan Food Glossary that will help with future posts!

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  1. I love that you tried this– I remember watching that episode and wondering if peanuts really *would* taste good in a pesto!!

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