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Nicole Franz is a copy editor and paginator at The News-Herald in Willoughby. She takes all those sweet recipes, grueling workouts, cleaning tips, money-saving tricks, do-it-yourself projects and looks that seem so cool on Pinterest and writes about how they really turn out.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pesto crescent rolls is messy, easy recipe

First off, there’s nothing like clicking on a pin and going through to the website it links to and realizing this website is most definitely not in English. The pin that inspired this post, took me to this website, which is written in Turkish. Lucky for me, there was a handy-dandy translate button at the top of the page where Google would translate it for me.

The website and the pin have different instructions. The website, once translated into something I can (mostly) read, is for a from-scratch roll. 
Because my blog is based on Pinterest and figuring out whether the things found on there work, I opted for the instructions on the pin.


“basil pesto - press out crescent roll dough. spread pesto. roll up into a log. slice. place in a pie plate like cinnamon rolls. try not to eat the whole pan.”

How it went

Simple enough.

I used Pillsbury Crescents and Knorr pesto sauce mix. 

I decided it would make sense to start by making the pesto sauce. I love pesto but had never made it until embarking on this recipe. I followed the instructions on the mix packet to the letter and the result was this lovely green sauce that kind of looks like it would be at home in a witch’s cauldron but tastes delicious. 
Now for the “press out crescent roll dough” part. I arranged the triangular pieces of dough by hand in a rectangle and used by fingers to press the edges together as best I could. I imagine a rolling pin might have been helpful but I don’t have one. My edges weren’t perfect which made things even messier later. 

“Spread pesto.” Something easy, I supposed. I spooned out a big glob of pesto sauce and spread it around with the spoon. Then I added some more and continued swirling it around until I was satisfied the dough was properly covered with pesto.

“Roll up into a log.” This is where things got a bit ugly. I know I’m a messy cook. Always have been, but this got a little extreme, even for me because the dough wasn’t very well pressed together. The dough started to come apart as I was rolling it up by hand. To add to the mess, it seems that I had gone a bit overboard on the pesto sauce, because this thing was hemorrhaging pesto. My hands got covered in pesto, which explains why this shot is blurry (I only cleared off one hand to take the shot of the rolled mess).

“Slice.” Not very specific, eh? I went with slices about an inch wide, and, wow, was this another messy experience. I was using a slightly serrated knife, and it was very difficult to cut the roll cleanly. I ended up with 11 of these kind of ugly, awkward looking pieces of dough.

“Place in a pie plate like cinnamon rolls.” I guess I missed the memo about how cinnamon rolls are placed in a pie plate. I just kind of spaced them evenly apart in the pie plate. Only later did I realize, the instructions probably meant to place the dough a little more tightly together, slightly touching so when it puffed up during baking they’d be touching and pulled apart.

Skipped instructions — the pin neglects to give any sort of baking instructions so I decided to go with the Pillsbury Crescent rolls’ baking instructions (375 degrees for 11-13 minutes). I ended up with these gorgeous golden brown crescent rolls in about 11 minutes. They look pretty awesome if I do say so myself.

“Try not to eat the whole pan.” I waited a bit to let them cool off before I tried one. It was pretty darn delicious, but I don’t think the pesto flavor was very strong. It was too subtle for my personal tastes. To up the pesto flavor, I dipped the pesto crescent roll into the pool of pesto sauce left on the pan where I rolled it all up in the sloppiest way a person could probably manage. This helped increase the pesto flavor.


  • Probably should have used less of the sauce when I was rolling it out to prevent the total mess from oozing all over the place.
  • Probably would have been better with a stronger pesto sauce, perhaps made from fresh basil.

— Nicole Franz | | @FranzOrFoe | Follow my Mission: Pinpossible board on Pinterest.

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Blogger Sara Sadaghiani said...

Great Blog!! A tip I learned a while back when cutting dough into rolls ... use floss or a piece of string. yes, you will wonder who thought of this brilliant idea!! Basically, lay the string underneath your roll/log of dough. Bring up string around roll as if you are tying a shoe (the first part). This will cut through the dough so easily and won't stick like a knife does. I know it might sound confusing describing it through here, but once you see will be amazed!!

August 1, 2012 at 8:59 PM 
Blogger Nicole Franz said...

Thanks for the tip, Sara! I'll definitely try that the next time I'm cutting dough. It certainly would have been helpful when I tried to cut these rolls.

August 1, 2012 at 10:05 PM 

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