My First-Date Pesto Works On Men Every Single Time

A dish he'll go absolutely crazy over.

Last updated on Oct 23, 2023

Couple sharing a pesto meal, ingredients in the background Antonio Gravante, SolStock | Canva

Our grandmas may have imparted upon us that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. I don't know about this. But I do know the way to a man's (you know what) and this pesto recipe has helped get me there.

Growing up, I was never much of a cook — mostly because I never learned. When I finally moved out on my own (somewhat belatedly because the writing lifestyle doesn't lead to instant economic security), pretty much the first thing I wanted to do was have my favorite dude over for dinner. I craved the sort of dish I could throw a bunch of ingredients together, not pay a ton of attention to measuring or ovens, and have him leave with a smile on his face.


My dish was pesto, and he loved it. We had a really delicious night to follow, too. The same has been true for any time I've made it for a man since. And I've shared my recipe with my friends — those who gave it a try were inclined to agree.

Even if you aren't a kitchen goddess, you can make pesto. All you need is a food processor or blender to get started.

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The first-date pesto that works on men every single time:

1 large bunch of basil, leaves only, washed and dried:

Be generous here. Obviously, basil is the most important ingredient in pesto. You'll be pest-no without it. But basil in fact also has a long storied history as an aphrodisiac. Italians—who obviously have way more love and intimacy in their lives than we do — call sweet basil  "kiss me Nicholas" or "bacia-nicola." They leave it on their windowsill as a symbolic "come hither" to their lovers!

Basil has actually been thought of as an aphrodisiac since ancient times, though, so pile it on.

3 medium cloves of garlic:

I know what you are thinking — garlic on a first date? Doesn't that automatically rule out kissing? Nope. First of all, if you both eat garlic, it cancels each other out. But more importantly, the heat in garlic is known to stir up more than that pot of pesto — but your libido. Garlic also contains allicin, which is thought to increase blood flow to certain organs.

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1 small handful of raw pine nuts: 

Pine nuts have an insane amount of protein. Protein is known to increase stamina and virility. However, tread's also known to boost male fertility. (Oops.)

3/4 cup Parmesan, loosely packed and freshly grated

Obviously, protein applies here, too. However, cheese is also a great source of zinc. Testosterone production is dependent on zinc, and testosterone levels control both male and female libido and drive. I know, it's almost too good to be true.

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A few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil:

Many of us get first-time jitters — even if it's so not our first time! Olive oil triggers testosterone hormone production. Too little of this hormone leads to a lack of desire and pleasure and an inability to finish completion. Obviously, that would ruin the night, now, wouldn't it?



Drop the pine nuts and garlic through the chute of your blender and let it process until finely minced. Next, add the olive oil and pulse some more. Add basil, Parmesan cheese, and salt to the processor bowl. Once everything is minced (aka looks like pesto), you are done.

Chill some wine and good luck.


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Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyle writer. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly.