Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Dried Tomato Pesto

Not entirely seasonal since it requires the purchase of some imported basil, at least at this time of year. Still, everything else was in the cupboard, not least the dried tomatoes. We have massive numbers of them from our garden and I will be trying to think of ways to use them up all winter.

I didn't add cheese to this as it went with the Baked Ricotta, and more cheese would have been a bit excessive. However, I would certainly add it in other applications.

p.s. Hurray! The days; they are now getting longer!

1 1/2 cups pesto - 6 to 8 servings
20 minutes prep time

Dried Tomato Pesto
40 grams (2 ounces) fresh basil
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 cup dried tomatoes
1/3 cup walnut pieces or sunflower seeds
1/3 cup sunflower seed oil
2 to 4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
up to 1 cup of grated Parmesan (optional)

Wash the basil, and trim off any large, tough stem pieces. Drain it well.

Meanwhile, put the the water, rosemary and tomatoes into a pot and bring to a boil. Cover and remove from the heat. Let them sit for 10 minutes to soak.

Put the walnut pieces, sunflower seed oil, peeled garlic cloves, paprika and salt into the food processor. Add the tomatoes with the soaking liquid and the basil. Purée until well amalgamated, but with some texture.

Turn it out into a serving or storage dish. Can be used as a spread or dip, or over potatoes, pasta or rice. I served it as a side-by-side spread with the baked ricotta from yesterday, so cheese was not indicated but you may wish to add some quantity of grated cheese to this, particularly if it's going over pasta. I would think a good cup of strong cheese such as Parmesean would not be too much.

Last year at this time I made Braised Duck Legs with Rutabaga, Leek & Celeriac.

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