Friday, August 17, 2007

Tomato-Basil Pesto

I really dislike it when I have to buy a bunch of basil for a recipe that calls for a whopping 2 T. Today, I was determined to use something with the remainder, and I think I hit a home run with this tasty topping which is so versatile. Deborah Madison suggests using this red pesto to season soups or to spread on grilled cheese sandwiches (yummo!). I decided it would be a good topping for whole wheat crackers and it was awesome. The garlic is sharp and contrasts with the sweetness of the basil and tomato paste. The cheese gives the side creaminess and salt, without having to add it from an outside source. So easy, so simple, so tasty, so scrumptious. It's a no effort crowd pleaser.

Makes about 3/4 cup
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

-2 garlic cloves,
-1 1/2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (use slightly less)
-1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
-2 to 3 T tomato paste

Pound the garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a mortar until smooth. Chop the basil in a food processor and gradually add the oil to make a coarse puree. Remove and stir into the garlic with the cheese and tomato paste.


Katie Zeller said...

That looks wonderful! I really like the idea of tomatoes in the pesto. That would be good on green beans...I have rather a lot of beans right now and I'm searching....
So, how much basil is in 'a bunch'?

Cynthia said...

These two ingredients always work so well together.

TBC said...

Hey, what do ya know!I have all those ingredients with me for a change, including basil leaves! Usually when I see something that I would like to make, I'm always missing at least one thing:-)

Asha said...

Love the Pesto! I add Pine nuts too for crunch and no tomatoes!:)

Unknown said...

Pesto is great! I normally just use it on pasta but adding it to soup or using it in a sandwich sounds good.

East Meets West Kitchen said...

I love pesto, and yours looked yummy! :)

Truffle said...

This would definitely please me! Sounds delicious :)

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

It certainlu does sound awesome. Pesto is such a great use for all that basil in the garden. It freezes to which escalates it to a SUPER FOOD!!!!