Sundried Tomato Pesto has been on my to-do list since ages. I remember the first time I tasted Sundried Tomato Pesto it was 15 years back at Corleone InterContinental, Marine Drive. I fell in love with this punchy and sweet taste right then. It was served with the bread basket and I ate the pesto more than I ate dinner. I can’t believe it took me 15 years to recreate this magic in my kitchen.
After testing and retesting I can say this Sundried Tomato pesto recipe is better than the store-bought jars. Seriously, once you start making this homemade Pesto you will never buy the store jars. It is so good. And pesto adds a bit of flavour to all kinds of food. That’s the thing about pesto, once you love pesto – you always love pesto. You can add it to your pasta, sandwiches, pizzas, paninis, roasted vegetables or eat a spoonful straight from the jar.
The good thing about this recipe is it’s completely flexible. Generally made with Sundried tomatoes, Pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and Olive oil, you can omit the pine nuts if you are allergic to nuts and not use the parmesan cheese in case you are vegan. You can also control the level of olive oil and salt you would like to add to the pesto.
What is Pesto?
It is a green sauce which was originated in Genoa, Italy. The word “pesto” comes from the Genoese verb “pestare” which means “to crush”. Pesto is typically made from crushing all the ingredients to make a sauce.
Can you change the ingredients?
Nuts: I have used pine nuts but you can use walnuts, almonds, or pecans. In case you are allergic to nuts skip it altogether.
Parmesan Cheese: Use a little bit of feta if you don’t have parmesan.
Add red peppers, if you like it sweeter. I have made it without red peppers as it makes it sweeter. I like the punchiness and sweetness of sundried tomatoes.
How can you store this pesto?
Once you prepare the pesto, use what you require and the rest can be refrigerated for about 7 to 8 days.
If you freeze it, make sure to store it in an airtight container. Otherwise, it can lose flavour. Before using it let it settle to room temperature as there is olive oil in the pesto.
Different types of Pesto :
- Kale pesto – Just about a few days back I shared the recipe for Kale pesto. Kale and Sundried Tomato Pesto served with bread and Pasta make such a scrumptious meal
- Basil Pesto – This oldest classic pesto never goes out of style.
- Pistachio Arugula Pesto
Few serving suggestions:
- With bread basket as a dip
- Add a spoonful to freshly cooked pasta.
- Add on the top of a bruschetta or open sandwich or a Panini
- Adding a dollop to your homemade minestrone soup.
- How about trying it with Hummus?
- I even top it on my pizza for that extra flavour 🙂
- 1 cup Sundried Tomatoes (fresh from the market or jar) retain the olive oil
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
- salt as per taste + 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup basil leaves
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes as per your taste
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Note: I like to use the fresh Sundried tomatoes available in the market section instead of the jar ones.
- Add all the ingredients as follows: Sundried Tomatoes with the oil in the jar, Pine nuts, Salt, Pepper and chill flakes
- Pulse to the desired consistency. Generally pesto is a bibt coarse so do not over blend the mixture.
- Add Parmesan cheese and pulse a few times
- Add olive oil as per your taste if you would like it more wet.
This Recipe has been such a saviour in times when you have had a long day at work and don’t want to cook anything elaborate. Mix this Sundried Tomato Pesto as a pasta sauce and you can have a tasty dinner without any fuss of cooking too much.