Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chunky Pesto and Cashew Damper Scrolls

My husband and I recently went out for dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant, "Mariosarti". I've missed Italian food, as my hometown Melbourne is packed with Italian dining spots and I had become accustomed to that cuisine...Brisbane seems to have a lot of Thai restaurants but the Italian eateries seem few and far between.
Besides being a wonderful night, it was also slightly amusing. The restaurant was cozy, and full of laughing couples and tables of friends and people having a good time together. Besides us sat a couple on what I presume was a date. Amongst all the mirth from other diners I could hear the man sitting next to me talking in the most serious tone. "I can tell good quality herbs in a dish--I'm a food conosure. I really know, really know food. I can taste quality." On and on he went into the history of this part of his meal and that, raving, and the girl sat and said nothing. I wonder if she was wondering when she would be able to go home? It made me laugh. The woman excused herself and went to powder her nose. The waiter came and asked the man if the meal was okay, and ended up standing there for a good ten minutes listening to the customer jabber about fine dining and the quality of the meal and the perfection of the cooking.
If I ever become so tedious when speaking of food on this blog, shoot me!
I love food, and he bored me to tears, and I only caught snippets of his spiels. I felt for his poor date.
Anyhow, feeling the need for another taste of something Italianesque, enter pizza scrolls. These are super yummy, especially when served straight from the oven and are very easy to make. Except, I made the error of not using enough flour when I rolled the dough, so it was a near fatality. They came out of the oven looking delicious, so all's well that ends well, as they say.


3 cups self-raising flour
80g butter, chopped
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Buttermilk, extra, to brush
150g container chunky basil pesto dip with cashew nuts (we used Black Swan brand)
1/4 cup finely sliced sun dried tomatoes
2 rashers bacon, fat removed, finely sliced
1 cup cheese, grated
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk.
Use a round-bladed knife in a cutting motion to mix until evenly incorporated and the mixture begins to hold together. (Do not overmix. The dough should be soft but not sticky.) Turn the dough onto a well floured surface and gently knead until just smooth.
Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the dough to a 30 x 40cm rectangle, about 1cm-thick. Spread the pesto evenly over the dough and sprinkle with Parmesan, sun dried tomatoes and bacon. Sprinkle a little grated cheese over the top.
Starting from a long side, roll up firmly to form a log. Brush the edge with a little extra buttermilk and press down firmly to seal. Cut log crossways into 16 equal portions, about 2cm thick. Place the scrolls on prepared tray. Sprinkle the tops with grated cheese. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown and just cooked through. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 NOTES: the scrolls look and taste wonderful with some tomato pasta sauce spread on top before the grated cheese is placed onto them. You may also substitute the bacon for ham or salami, and the pesto dip for any other dip or spread. Also if the scrolls are done but the tops aren't golden, you can pop them under the grill on high for a minute or so to brown them.

With a smear of tomato under the cheese


  1. This looks absolutely scrumptious! I need to make this!


  2. I totally love Mariosarti Lou! Delicious food, nice setting, we went there for our first wedding anniversary...

  3. yes it was a great place to eat out and the food was amazing! glad you like the recipe LV, its a ripper and very easy! xo

  4. could you use a variety of differant sliced meat? Prosciutto maybe? Either way it looks wondeful and delicious.

  5. absolutely. the world is your oyster!


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