Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto

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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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{ 313 comments… read them below or add one }

Grace September 7, 2011

I recently came across your blog and love it! Fantastic recipes. I made this one ( the Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto Pasta ) last night and it was FABULOUS!!! Let’s just say, it never made it onto any pasta – as I was eating it off the spoon. I brought some for lunch today – having it with crackers, along side my salad. Truly amazing stuff – delic!! :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 7, 2011

hehe sounds like me ;) Glad you loved it!

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Doris September 7, 2011

You are Godsend! I had tons of tomato from CSA and looking for a way to use up. Made the pesto last night, almost burn down the house (I drizzle too much olive oil => smoke) but still turn out sooo good! Even my picky husband enjoy it! I omit almond & nutritional yeast (picky husband) and add a little bit of leftover hummus to thicken and still come out yummy. Roasting tomato is great idea! Thanks for coming out with great recipe and dummy proof for me!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 7, 2011

I’m glad you enjoyed it (and didn’t burn the house down! lol)

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Amanda @ AmandaRunsNY September 7, 2011

wow, this looks amazing and now that the weather is cooling down, its actually warm enough to leave the oven on for an hour or so. Delish!

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Laureen September 7, 2011

Yum,yum,yum I definitely must try this recipe! I’m moving it to the top of my must-make-this list http://wp.me/P1OnhQ-2h. Thanks for sharing.
Laureen

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Joann@womaninreallife September 7, 2011

This looks great! I love me some pasta, and I have tomatoes to use up! Thanks.

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Maya@DessertisinaDifferentPocket September 7, 2011

Yum! This looks amazing. I wish my basil plant would grow in this 100 dry Texas weather but I could cave and buy basil for this one.

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Katherine September 7, 2011

Wow this looks so delicious! I loooove roasted tomatoes, and especially with basil!

I thought you might want to know- when using Google Chrome, I still see your old header.

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thehealthyapron September 7, 2011

making this tonight! Been salivating ALL day! Literally!

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The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh September 7, 2011

Initially I winced because I’m not a tomato on their own fan but then seeing I could process the heck out of it with other flavors kinda gave me a culinary tingle! :-)

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LG September 7, 2011

Just wanted to let you know that I made the oil-free zucchini bread with strusel the other day…it ROCKS. I told my husband he might not like it but I can see by the empty container on the counter that it wasn’t the case. He said he loved it, and so do I, especially with the healthy “stats”! Thanks very much!

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val September 7, 2011

Mmm, mmm can’t wait to try the pesto recipe. Thank you Angela–I received Peas & Thank You, can’t wait to try the black bean burgers.

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Stephanie September 7, 2011

This recipe reminds me of Giada De Laurentis’ recipe for a pasta sauce using roasted eggplant and tomato. It is simply delicious! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/rigatoni-with-eggplant-puree-recipe/index.html

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Amanda September 7, 2011

Making this one tomorrow! I’m so excited! :-)

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Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty September 7, 2011

Oh wow!! You are one smart cookie.

This LOOKS so beautiful!!

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Kristina September 7, 2011

I wanted to make this but didn’t have any of the ingredients except a huge basket of tomatoes…but I NEEDED to try something similar so I totally improvised and made a creamy roasted tomato bacon sauce. Ok not vegan at all, but delish. Instead of cream I made a roux and added it to sauteed garlic, roasted tomatoes, and chopped bacon. Sprinkled in some lemon zest, a splash of red wine, some baby spinach, and some reserved startchy pasta water. May sound random but believe me it was amazing. And it could easily be veganized with Almond Milk, Earth Balance in the roux, and omit the bacon (duh).
Thanks for the idea!!

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michelle September 7, 2011

Yum! all my favourite ingredients in one dish

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Annie@stronghealthyfit September 7, 2011

Oh my my.

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tami September 7, 2011

OMG!!!! Just got finished making this. I could not stop licking the bowl!!! I have never roasted tomatoes before. What an amazing flavor!!!! Thank you sooo much. XOXO

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Nicole September 8, 2011

I am putting this on my to make list for tomorrow! Looks fabulous! Thank you for sharing!

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Carina@veggiegourmetkitchen September 8, 2011

Hello Angela,

I stummbled across your blog and can’t stop reading it. Your story is very touching and I love your sense of humor. The photos of your dishes are mouth-watering. I will try this pesto very soon!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 8, 2011

Aww thank you Carina!

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Andrea September 8, 2011

This pesto was AMAZING!!!!! I was licking the food processor bowl! Is that bad? :). Love your blog!

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Jessica September 13, 2011

I also licked the bowl. But I couldn’t stop there so I also licked the blade. Cooking is a risk, I tell you…

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Hong September 8, 2011

I’ve made two recipes from your site so far–this one and the 15-minute avocado pasta. This recipe is just ridiculously amazing. My market had organic San Marzano tomatoes and it just made this pesto the absolute best I’ve ever had. Really Angela, it’s amazing. (I’m going to make the weekend glow kale salad for my family this weekend!)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 9, 2011

So happy you love it so much!!

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Janelle September 8, 2011

This is really terrific. Just FYI, although it is not vegan, I substituted Parm Reg cheese in place of the almonds (for my mother, who has a severe nut allergy). It is hard to find good pesto recipes for her to enjoy, but this is sensational, she’s going to love it! I’m currently making another batch with the toasted almonds as your original recipe calls for, I’ll be curious to see how they compare. Thanks!

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Janelle September 8, 2011

Okay, I’ll admit it, yours is actually better. But the nut-free version with parm-reg is good too! ;)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 13, 2011

haha that’s funny, thanks for sharing your trials!! A nut free option is always great.

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jordanarae September 8, 2011

I just made this tonight and to say it was fantastic isn’t praising it enough. I added a few yellow romas as I really enjoy their taste and it was so good I’ll be making up another batch tomorrow.

Having pesto that isn’t 50% oil is such a treat!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 13, 2011

Thank you for your feedback! Glad you enjoyed it :) I’m making more this weekend…

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Angelique September 9, 2011

Hi Angela! Would this taste good as a cold pasta salad dish too?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 13, 2011

I can’t see why not…I could eat it hot, cold, upside down, leaning out a car window…lol

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Lizzie September 9, 2011

I’m going to try this recipt tonight to use up many of my tomatoes! Can’t wait!
P.S. You are an inspiration to us here at the U of G!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 9, 2011

Aww thanks Lizzie!! Go Guelph! wheeee

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Megan September 9, 2011

I made this the other night and it was – as promised – AMAZING! Honestly, there’s some left-over sauce in our fridge and it’s a small miracle that neither hubs nor myself have devoured it with a spoon in the middle of the night. And we’re already fans of your avocado pasta – love your recipes!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 9, 2011

Glad you liked it!

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Natalie @fitjamericangirl.com September 9, 2011

OMG Angela this is awesome! Soo good! The only thing I changed was roasting the garlic with the tomatoes. Thank you for this recipe, it’s perfection.

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Gina September 10, 2011

I am trying to go as green as possible in my diet and came across your site and I just have to say I love it! Thanks for sharing!! All your recipes look amazing and I just can’t wait to try it.

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Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf September 10, 2011

Holy heck! That looks intoxicating! I need a bowl of that with some wine. Perfect dinner. :)

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Tara September 11, 2011

Hi Angela!
I am planning on making this for supper tonight (and taking leftovers to school tomorrow). Just something to clear up before I get started: You cooked 9 roma tomatoes and said to add 1.5 cups into the food processor to make the sauce along with the rest of the ingredients..it just seems that 9 tomatoes would produce more than 1.5 cups, so I’m just wondering if you saved them and made a separate batch with additional basil, olive oil, garlic, etc. If you could let me know when you get a chance, that would be great! :)
Thanks so much!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 13, 2011

Hey Tara!
Sorry for the delay in reply. I used 1.5 cups of tomatoes for the pesto and for the leftovers, I chopped them up and mixed them into the pasta :)

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Tara September 11, 2011

Wow sorry- I was reading the directions with the pictures earlier, and just re-read the directions before that where everything is clearly explained… Thanks! :D

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Sheelah September 12, 2011

Hi I was just wondering if you think you could freeze the roasted tomatoes and then go back and make this pesto later. There are so many fresh tomatoes right now! And the pesto is incredible by the way!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 13, 2011

Gosh I’m not sure! I have never thought to freeze tomatoes before. Anyone know?

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Bethany September 12, 2011

Angela I can’t believe how awesome this pesto is!!! I am not normally a huge pesto fan, but the roasted tomatoes made it unbelievable. I never knew vegan food could be so delicious. I made this, your roasted red pepper hummus, and long weekend grilled salad over the weekend and I am in food heaven. So is my husband. :)

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Laury @thefitnessdish September 12, 2011

I made this over the weekend. Incredible. You are incredible. I did it over zucchini pasta because I knew that I would eat like a pound of regular pasta with it LOL. SO good. Thank you for this recipe!!!

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Melanie September 12, 2011

Made this tonight!! Hubby and son loved it and my son said it was the best vegan thing I’ve ever made!! He had 3 bowls full. Hubby raved as well. I used 3 roma’s from my garden and the rest were huge grape tomatoes from our garden. Hubby also got some fresh basil from a plant they have at work (gotta love guys who plant basil at work)! I also had a little less than 1/2 cup almonds so I used some almond butter to make up the difference.

Yummy!! Thanks for an awesome recipe. I wanted to eat the whole tray of tomatoes!!

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Ana Maria September 13, 2011

Hey Angela! I made this for my family last night and they went bonkers! (I also went bonkers) It was so delicious! Thanks!

I did wind up roasting the garlic as well since I’m allergic to raw garlic but everything else stayed the same :)

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Jane-ifer September 13, 2011

Thanks for this recipe, Angela. I made this over the weekend and it was very nice with my pasta. But you know what was even better? I used the leftover pesto as the spread on my gluten-free vegan pizza last night, and that was delicious! Better even than its marinara counterpart.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 13, 2011

MMM great idea!

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Heather September 13, 2011

The day before you posted this recipe I had just froze 7 cups of fresh basil from my backyard. Since then, I have been been giving my basil and tomato plants the evil eye so I would have enough home grown goodness for this. Finally got to harvest today, yay! Thanks for the inspiration, my less than healthy male counterpart doesn’t care too much for straight basil, or the copious amounts of pesto I have been making. It’s in the oven now. I can’t wait to eat a tomato and burn my mouth off. I don’t even have to wait, every recipe I have ever made of your has been to die for.

Thanks again, love your blog, and love not having to think about what I am making in the kitchen sometimes.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 14, 2011

Thank you Heather :) I hope you enjoyed it!

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Michelle September 15, 2011

I love love love this recipe thank you Angela! I recently experimented with it and have come up with one that blew my mind and is even healthier!

I do the pesto the exact same way, no changes there however along with roasting the tomatoes I also do eggplant, zucchini, onions, and a pepper (red, yellow or orange). Sometimes I add garlic as well. Once the veggies are roasted and quite soft I mix them with the pesto. If you want it to be more sauce like you can put it all together in a pan on low stirring occasionally. I then add some olives (totally optional but I like the salty flavour they add, kalamata works best) then I spoon the sauce over whole wheat pasta and garnish with some basil on top. It is seriously amazing! I always make extra and put it on whole wheat toast for an awesome lunch.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 16, 2011

love your modifications! Sounds amazing :)

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