Sundried Tomato Marjoram Cauliflower Pesto

As the Summer slowly approaches, pesto is on my mind. This weekend we made a few great ones. One of them needs to be developed a bit further, but one is perfect just how it is, and that’s the one I am going to show you today. This pesto can be made in a blender, or with a knife. Both ways are very different and delicious in their own right. I have both ways shown here.

This cool pesto I came up with consists of marjoram, sundried tomatoes, cauliflower, garlic, and parmesan cheese.

Marjoram is my herb of the moment. I am loving it right now!!! If you aren’t familiar, it tastes like flowers, a bit piney and you might even say a hint of citrus. It is exploding from our garden right now.

First up, the Italian grandmother method. For this method, use the sundried tomatoes preserved in oil.

What I mean by the “Italian grandmother method” is chop all the ingredients by hand, adding new ones to the mix slowly.

This method creates a beautiful textural block of pesto. We couldn’t stop dipping bread into this.

Add some parm first onto the hot pasta, then mix in the pesto.


Quickly onto the next method. For this method, I used the dried tomatoes that are in a bag. These need to loosen a bit, so put them into the blender with some of the boiling water from the pot you are about to drop your pasta into.

10 minutes later, blend it up with the rest of the ingredients.

Some more parm, and pepper. I added the pasta right after and mixed well.

This is the quicker and less messy version. It is tasty in it’s own way, but a bit different from method number 1.

I normally do not like whole grain pasta, but in a pesto situation I think the nuttyness complements the flavors well.  Most pesto contain nuts, but we are using the cauliflower and whole grain pasta for the nut element in this version.  This could be a healthy weeknight meal if use the grain pasta and you serve it with a simple salad.

About ¾ cup each of sundried tomatoes and cauliflower.
Big handful of marjoram
2 cloves garlic
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese

Chop chop chop chop chop until it’s a pesto. Or if you’re in a hurry, toss it all in the blender. Put the pesto in a mixing bowl. Add whole grain pasta nice and hot fresh from the pot. Add some more parm. Mix well. Add some pasta cooking water if it is too dry.


  1. This could totally go as a delicious bagel spread as well! And nice usage of the cauliflower, never heard of this kind of pesto.

  2. i really don’t like cauliflower but i looooooove your blog.
    im just gonna take something else instead of it and get a friend to get me one of these awesome stones you grind ur curry paste on.
    greetings from austria.i miss the sea. but not as much as i’d miss my alps;)

  3. I like this take on pesto compared to the green traditional one. I imagine this would be awesome on a pizza too.

  4. Is this cauliflower from your garden?
    Also I’m curious if you could expand on the “tasty but different” description. Both look mighty tasty, and healthy.

  5. Jennifer – Cauliflower is not from our garden. ours still has a week or 2 to go. believe me you will know when we use it!! as for the tasty but different bit. It is hard to explain! It tastes pretty much the same, but the texture is obviously the main difference, but something feels different eating it. Mandi can you explain it any better? I doubt it…

  6. i’d say that the blended version tastes more like a thick, creamy sauce or paste, all the flavors are very blended together. i think the best part of this method is the speed but also the sauciness really sticks to the pasta nicely and holds everything together. see how dan stacked up the pasta so nice in the bowl for this one?
    when it is chopped up by hand there is more definition of flavors. each different ingredient maintains its individual flavor and texture and they all pop separately in your mouth. there is definitely more textural stuff going on in your mouth with the hand chopped version. definitely takes a little longer to get the combination to a nice consistency but i generally prefer this method.

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