Homemade Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
Homemade sun-dried tomato pesto is quick and easy to make with basil, pine nuts, garlic, and parmesan. Make a big batch and keep it on hand – just a spoonful adds instant flavor to sauces, soups, pizza, pasta, and anything else you can think of!
Happy Labor Day, American friends! If you’re lucky enough to be enjoying a day off, I hope you can spend it with friends and loved ones, maybe savoring a great meal or beverage. It’s always a bit strange celebrating American holidays as an expatriate, but I definitely enjoy it – not least because schools are open while my office is typically closed. 🙂
I have a short and sweet recipe to share with you today. After making, uh, more than one batch of this incredible dip a few weeks ago, I still had quite a few sun-dried tomatoes in the fridge. Making use of extra ingredients like that is something I am really trying to work on, so…
… time to make pesto!
I’ve made a sun-dried tomato pesto similar to this off and on for several years, but lately I’ve been getting my pesto fix with this lean mean green version, so going back to red pesto was a little like meeting up with an old friend you haven’t seen in awhile. And then tweaking that friend ever so slightly until they’re absolutely perfect. Wait, nevermind, that analogy went off the rails quickly.
Bottom line, a few taste-tests later, I’m confident that this is the version of sun-dried tomato pesto I will be making and loving for many years to come.
It’s simple – another throw-it-all-in-the-food-processor situation. It’s delicious – I mean, how can you go wrong? Sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, Parmesan cheese, fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, some red pepper flakes, and olive oil to hold it all together. These things are never bad. The combined effect is hearty and flavorful and rich.
The best part is that it keeps well, and there are so many delicious ways to use it.
I used about half of this batch as a pizza sauce. (More on that later this week.) The other half stayed in the fridge for a few days until an evening when I just really did not feel like making dinner. I cooked some pasta, mixed it with the pesto, found something green to put on the side, and that was that. It took five minutes, and honestly was the best-tasting dinner I made all week.
The pesto is also terrific spread on crackers, crostini, or veggies, or stirred into a soup or jarred pasta sauce to add some oomph. Basically anywhere you’d like a little extra punch of flavor, this will bring it home. Enjoy!
Homemade Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
- 1 1/2 cups (about 5 ounces, or 142 grams) oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes drained
- 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- freshly-ground black pepper to taste
- pinch red pepper flakes optional
- 1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Add all ingredients except olive oil to the bowl of a food processor and blend until thoroughly combined.
- With the motor running, pour in 1/3 cup olive oil and blend until well-incorporated. Test and add more olive oil to adjust consistency as desired.
- Use immediately, or store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
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