Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto

314 comments

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We haven’t been this excited about a dinner recipe in a long time.

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Probably not since the 15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta, which Eric said – in between shoveling this pasta in his mouth – is “not as good as this roasted tomato pesto recipe”.

I didn’t believe it, but after tasting and then devouring my own bowl of pesto (ok, there was some pasta in there too), I may have to agree with him. This is by far, the best pesto I’ve made or perhaps ever tasted.

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Don’t be put off by the colour, I promise it tastes much better than it looks. ;)

We enjoyed it so much, I made two batches over the long weekend and froze some for a later date. In January, there will be no tears over tasteless tomatoes as long as I have this pesto waiting for us!

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If I can wait that long to eat it, that is.

Outlook not good.

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I decided to roast the tomatoes first to give the pesto a really deep flavour. So glad I did!!

First, I drizzled them with olive oil and sprinkled them with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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Into the pre-heated oven they went at 400F for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. The longer they roast, the more delicious they become. The bottoms will be blackened slightly, but not to worry as it only enhances the flavour.

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After cooling slightly, I ate one straight off the pan. And I almost burned my mouth off, but it was so worth it. I’m surprised that the rest of them made it into the processor!

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While the processor blade is spinning, add two garlic cloves. Let it whirl around until the garlic is chopped. Next, add 1 cup of tightly packed basil and process. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spoon. With the processor on, add in 1/4 cup oil, 1.5 cups of roasted tomatoes, nutritional yeast (optional), and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse in the toasted almonds.

I’m loving this olive oil right now:

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This pesto is so delicious it’s unreal.

This was my first batch and I used 1 cup of roasted tomatoes, but I suggest using 1.5 cups of roasted tomatoes as I did in my second batch. You get more bang for your buck!

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If you want to be a fancy pants, you can Chiffonade the basil for garnishing on top of the pasta. “Chiffon” is French for “rag” which is what the basil will look like when you’re finished.

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How to Chiffonade basil:

1. Grab a few basil leaves (you can use spinach or any leafy vegetable for future reference)

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2. Stack them on top of one another like so.

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3. Now roll it up all the way.

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4. Grab a sharp knife and slice tiny 1mm cuts through the rolled up basil.

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Do not slice finger off as it looks like I’m about to do in the above photo. That would not be good.

Repeat until you’ve sliced through all of it. The basil, not your finger.

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5. With your (in tact) fingers, gently separate the basil into its ‘rag-like’ pieces and sprinkle over top of your dish.

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And if you handle them as long as I did to get these photos, they will really look like rags!

You are now a fancy pants.

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It is your mission to go on and enjoy those deliciously sweet tomatoes that are waiting for you.

Just don’t forget to freeze some for the Winter!

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{ 314 comments… read them below or add one }

Alayna @ Thyme Bombe September 6, 2011

That sounds amazing! Definitely trying this one.

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Amber Shea @Almost Vegan September 6, 2011

Ooh, so it’s like a Romesco sauce…yummy!!

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Katie @ Peace Love and Oats September 6, 2011

oh my goodness, that looks absolutely amazing!!! I love tomatoes!

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Melanie September 6, 2011

We love your 15 min Creamy Avocado Pasta so cannot wait to try this!! I love roasted tomatoes so I’m sure it will be a huge hit!! Are the almonds necessary to make the sauce? (We have quite a few family members who have nut allergies?) Would it change the flavor to leave them out?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 6, 2011

I think it would work without the almonds. The crunchy texture & nuttiness would be missing but I do think it would still taste nice with proper seasoning.

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Katherine September 6, 2011

We have the same almond issue in our house, I’m wondering if some sort of seed (sunflower? pumpkin?) would add the crunch the almonds provide. I’m going to experiment this evening…

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 6, 2011

great idea!

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Katherine September 7, 2011

So I made it! After sampling the various seeds in my pantry I decided that none of them had the right flavour so I just left all crunchy stuff out. It was sooooo good! I’d never have known there was an ingredient missing since I haven’t tried it any other way.

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Melanie September 7, 2011

Thanks to both of you for letting me know. I will so be trying this recipe out tonight. Just got a 25 lb box of tomatoes from the fruit truck (grown organically) and can’t wait to get into it and start making things!! :)

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Melanie September 7, 2011

Oh.My.Goodness!! This has to be your best recipe yet!!! I couldn’t stop eating it. Amazing!! This will be part of our rotation for a very, very long time. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe, Angela!!

You said that you froze some–how on earth did you ever have any left. We ate the whole amount in one sitting! Totally delicious!!

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halima September 6, 2011

looks yummy, do you think it would be as good if i didn’t use almonds (or any nuts) in it?? my daughter is allergic.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 6, 2011

See comment above :)

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Sara September 6, 2011

That looks amazing. I am having the hardest time finding good RED tomatoes in the markets here. I feel like something might be going on with the crops I haven’t heard about yet. I’ll try the farmers market this weekend because I have really been craving fresh tomatoes and now I must roast some!

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MelanieF September 6, 2011

That looks amazing! ! ! I will have to make some this weekeng to freeze so that we will have some for the winter months as well. What a terrific idea!

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Bev Weidner September 6, 2011

This brings me to tears. Happy, sexy, giddy tears.

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Cait's Plate September 6, 2011

Oh my gosh that first photo of the roasted tomato is INCREDIBLE. I’m not a big tomato soup fan but I think with the addition of the basil pesto I could happily gobble this up with a nice thick slice of whole grain bread :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 6, 2011

Thanks!

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Donna @ Life of a Happy Blonde September 6, 2011

I’ve been looking for a tomato pesto for ages and i totally do that cutting technique with my herbs, just didn’t know there was a fancy name for it :)

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Rhona September 6, 2011

You had me at Roasted & Tomatoes. Ok, I officially cannot wait to cook this up. Hm, I’m thinking dinner tomorrow night. Especially fitting for this cold crap weather we are already getting in the GTA (booh!).

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 6, 2011

I know isn’t it the pits??

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Lauren at Keep It Sweet September 6, 2011

This looks amazing, no wonder you are excited about it! Can you please come over and start cooking my meals?

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Mai September 6, 2011

Mmm. . think I’m going to have to make this over the weekend weekend!

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Lindsey September 6, 2011

Yum! So I’m following Esselstyn/Engine 2 diet (no oil). Do you think I could skip the olive oil? Like in the green Pesto you made recently? Maybe in place a splash of soy milk for the liquid and a touch of fat?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 6, 2011

you could always try and see what it tastes like!

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Renata October 20, 2011

Did you try it? Was it tasty?

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Alison (Fueling for Fitness) September 6, 2011

Oh my gosh, this looks incredible!!

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Caryn September 6, 2011

I might need to finally get a food processor so I can try this. Beautiful pictures.

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Aine @ Something to Chew Over September 6, 2011

I love pesto so much! This looks sooo good :)

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes September 6, 2011

Yum!! I am definetly trying this! I love a good pesto on pretty much anything ;)

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Christine (The Raw Project) September 6, 2011

Wow, this looks so yummy. Can’t wait to try it – thanks!

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Rachel September 6, 2011

Ha…haha….the food buzz advertisement on your page right now is for Eggland’s Best Eggs…..How ironic.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 6, 2011

I’ve contacted Foodbuzz to see if they can remove any animal-based ads from my website.

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Rachel September 6, 2011

AMAZING! I hope they do.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 6, 2011

Feel free to let me know if you see more of them. I dont see those ads here.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 6, 2011

Update! :)

Foodbuzz got back to me and said the ad must have slipped through. I’ve requested a couple times not to have any animal product related ads on my site, but they said when a new campaign launches, sometimes it slips through the cracks. Please let me know if you see any more and I’ll shoot them an email. I tend not to see the ads in Canada so Im unaware of it.

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Rachel September 6, 2011

Will do :-)

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K September 6, 2011

Love tomatoes and traditional basil pesto! This recipe looks like the perfect combo of both-thanks!
I hate sad looking “winter tomatoes”. Must freeze some of the good ones now!

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Kristen Waby September 6, 2011

Thank you for the inspiration for Thursday’s lunch!

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen September 6, 2011

Ohh, this looks delicious! I made a sun dried tomato pesto last week that was so summery and good with pasta & veggies. I must try this! Plus, I’m always searching for ways to use nutritional yeast besides in salad dressing. I like that it’s in this!

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katie@ KatieDid September 6, 2011

I never knew what Chiffonade meant, and now I am confident I could do it myself with your tutorial! Thanks! This pasta looks so incredible, and considering I’m on a huge pesto kick right now (read: eating it straight from the container at nearly every meal) this looks right up my alley.

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Sara (The Veggie Eco-Life) September 6, 2011

This looks amazingly good! Can’t wait to try it. I bet my hubbie will love it too :)
I’m not used to seeing Canadian products – with the English AND French on the labels, it’s kinda like here in Belgium; Dutch and French.

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Sara (The Veggie Eco-Life) September 6, 2011

By the by, I want to recommend this recipe on my own blog and I would like to ask your permission to show a picture with it. Is that okay?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 6, 2011

Sure np! Just be sure to link to the original post.

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Sara (The Veggie Eco-Life) September 6, 2011

Of course ;)
Thanks!

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Lisa September 6, 2011

Well I roasted the tomatoes for this but then proceeded to eat all the roasted tomatoes. I will try again

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Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove September 6, 2011

We have a TON of tomatoes and basil in the garden (thanks to our landlord!) so we are definitely going to take advantage of this recipe. What a nice way to make pesto sauce more interesting!

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Mandy @ The Fat Girl's Guide to Life September 6, 2011

I’ve been thinking about trying a pesto recipe. This is the one.

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Amber K September 6, 2011

Looks amazing! I have had to convince my brain to ignore colors completely when it comes to food. Too many times I make things that look like sludge (chocolate green monster anyone?) that taste sooo good!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 6, 2011

I agree sometimes recipes look deceiving!

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jess @ littlegirlbigappetite.com September 6, 2011

Oh my this looks soooOoo good! and an awesome idea. I’m going to have to make this so I’ll have some come the middle of the winter and craving something summery and not have to settle for less than spectacular tomatoes in the winter. Thank you :)

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Ellie@fitforthesoul September 6, 2011

YAYYYYYYYYY THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Perfect timing, haha! I was just wondering last night what I should do with my remaining large bunch of basil! Isn’t it weird when that happens? You usually just need a little herb for a certain dish, and you’re left with a bunch :P

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Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles September 6, 2011

I just broke out my brand new food processor yesterday, now I absolutely HAVE to make this!

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Andrea September 6, 2011

This looks amazing! Mental note to make this :)

I have read elsewhere that when toasting nuts you should toast them at 170 degrees Farenheit or lower so you do not harm the healthy fats that they contain. I was wondering what your take on this is?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 6, 2011

Oh I hadn’t heard that! Thanks for passing it along…I’ll have to look into it, Makes sense to toast at a low temp.

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Katrina September 6, 2011

This sounds terrific! Great recipe :)

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Lena September 6, 2011

I love regular basil pesto, I love red pesto; this has to be amazing. I’ll try this one soon! Thanks for the recipe, I think I’m going to be very, very thankful in winter…

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Kathy September 6, 2011

My dad and grandma decided to plant tomato plants (we didn’t use fertilizer or spray them, but I would not say that they are organic in anyway because the soil…I’m not sure about the soil ^^) and I’m glad they did because now I get fresh tomatoes! I’m soo trying this before all the tomatoes are gone!

http://cupcakes-music-fashion.blogspot.com

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Nicole @ giraffelegs September 6, 2011

Lately I have been more than obsessed with pesto. I am so glad to have a different variation available.

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes September 6, 2011

I definitely have to give this one a try! :)

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga September 6, 2011

I LOVE roasted tomatoes!! My dad’s garden when I was growing up would overflow with tomatoes for about 2-3 weeks a year. We ate tomatoes at every meal and in every possible way. Including roasted and broiled. Just seeing your roasted tomatoes gives me great memories!

And the pesto looks stunning!

Plus for you to give it a Best Ever title…THAT’S high praise and duly noted! :)

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Fran {The Flavorful Fork} September 6, 2011

I love pesto! It is one of the most versatile condiments and can be used in so many different ways: mixed into mashed potatoes, as a spread for sandwiches, added to pizza, spread on fish or meat then coated with breadcrumbs and sauteed. The ideas are endless! This version with roasted tomatoes sounds wonderful and a great way to use those fresh garden tomatoes before they are all gone.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 6, 2011

oh yea pesto is great on pizza!!! I need to try that :)

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