As summer winds down, I am still not quite ready to jump into all of the fall recipes just yet. I am looking to hang on to the last few delicious bits of the summer bounty. For me, tomatoes are always the way to do that — bid the summer farewell with the most delicious tomatoes you will have all year. My garden is still producing its fair share of tomatoes and I am enjoying savoring the last of it. I have even oven-dried some of them and packed them in oil to preserve the goodness through the winter.
This roasted tomato pesto is a great way to use up some of the last of the tomatoes. It is full of robust and deep flavors and, of course, lots of great nutrients from the fresh tomatoes. Besides with pasta or even zucchini pasta, you could also spread this on toast for a bruschetta of sorts, or serve it over your favorite grilled meat or fish. It would also make a delicious dip served with crackers.
If you have a lot of tomatoes, you can double or triple the recipe and freeze some for later, too.
Roasted Tomato Pesto – Gluten-free + Vegan
makes about 1 cup
1 lb fresh roma tomatoes (9-12), sliced in half lengthwise
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup almonds, walnuts or pine nuts, toasted + a small amount more for serving
1 cup fresh basil + a bit more for garnish
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling on tomatoes
2 tbsp nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper, optional
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cooked gluten-free pasta of your choice, reserving approximately 1/4 cup of the cooking water before you drain
Preheat oven to 400º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place tomatoes cut side up on the lined baking sheet. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the tomatoes, lightly salt and pepper.
Roast the tomatoes for about an hour. They should be lightly browned and soft. Take them out and allow them to cool. Don’t worry if some of the tomatoes get a bit blackened, it may change the color of the pesto, but it really enhances the flavor. I prefer them this way.
Once cooled take about 3/4 of the tomatoes and add to the food processor, reserving the rest to add to the pasta. Process until finely chopped, to your desired texture. Remove and set aside. Add the toasted nuts and the garlic and pulse a couple times until finely chopped. Add the basil, nutritional yeast and lemon zest, continue pulsing to combine. Pour in the oil and the tomatoes. Process until smooth. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
Pour as much pesto over your pasta as you would like. If your pesto is thick like mine was, add in some of the cooking water to the pasta and pesto, to thin it out. Toss it all well to combine and get all of the pasta coated. Top with additional toasted almonds, fresh basil and if you’d like, some of the roasted tomatoes.
Keeps for up to 5 days in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.
For more of Beth’s recipes visit her blog Tasty Yummies.
More healthy recipes from the BLDG 25 Blog.