Monday, September 19, 2011

Roasted Tomato-Basil Pesto

Plain green pesto isn't always my favorite, but I love pestos made with added veggies, like this version with roasted red peppers or the subject of this post, roasted tomato-basil pesto.  I love the flavor of roasted tomatoes - much deeper than raw tomatoes, and a little caramelized.  The tomatoes combine perfectly with crunchy almonds, punchy garlic, and fragrant basil to make a pesto that can be used in lots of ways.  I tossed some with pasta, roasted veggies, and more fresh basil (pictured below).  I stuffed some in a quesadilla with feta cheese (so good!).  And, I mixed some of the pesto with mayo as a spread for turkey sandwiches.  The possibilities are endless!  This is a great condiment to have in the fridge to make lots of meals more interesting (mine lasted about a week before I gobbled it all up).

Roasted Tomato-Basil Pesto (adapted from Oh She Glows, original recipe here)

9 Roma/Italian/plum-type tomatoes (a little over a pound), sliced in half lengthwise
1/3 cup whole almonds, toasted
2 garlic cloves
1 cup tightly packed basil + more to garnish
1/4 cup olive oil + more to drizzle on tomatoes
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the tomatoes cut-side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.  Roast for about 30 minutes, and then flip the tomatoes over and continue to roast until totally soft and nicely browned.
2. Place the almonds and garlic in a food processor and process until chopped.  Measure out 1-1/2 cups of the tomatoes and reserve the rest for another use (like chopping them up and adding them to pasta along with this pesto). Add the tomatoes and pulse a few times.  Add the basil and olive oil, and pulse until the pesto is as smooth as you like it.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.


  1. This looks amazing, I love PESTO in any form, I have some rye bread here, wish I had some so I could make a crustini.

  2. Hmm... looks great, I love pesto and this seems like the perfect meal to make for a light family dinner. Looks great. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Yum! I like the use of almonds instead of pine nuts in this pesto twist!

  4. This pesto sounds so much lighter. Yum!

  5. Wow, pesto with almond and roasted tomatoes...sounds and looks delicious. Love it!
    Hope you are having a fantastic week Sara :-)

  6. Hey Sara! This looks gorgeous, especially the colors -- so vibrant and fresh. What a great way to use up the last of summers harvest before the coming of fall. :)

  7. Wonderful idea to mix in the tomatoes! I've done a sundried pesto, but this is a different twist and a great way to use up summers last tomatoes!!