You’ll have to bear with me for a while. The posts lately have been heavy on the food side, not to mention heavy on tomatoes lately, but it is that time of year around here. Everything is ready at the same time in the garden. We can’t seem to give enough of it away and I feel like I shouldn’t let it go to waste, so there has been a lot of time spent in the kitchen. Ok, a lot is relative. There has been more time spent in the kitchen than usual with lots of summertime lounging around thrown in. I have brief periods of intense activity followed by something a lot less intense. Start slowly and taper off.
Maybe 40 or 50 tomato plants was too many. Some of those were volunteer plants, though. I didn’t think they would be so abundant. Our garden is starting to look a little like The Day of the Triffids. Some of those plants might soon grow legs and attempt to take over the planet.
Last night we wanted pizzas and I had been thinking of using the oven dried tomatoes in olive oil on them, but instead I decided to make a pesto and use it instead of the pizza sauce. It was great with cooked chicken, green pepper slices and ricotta cheese, definitely a keeper. I’ll be making more and freezing it for future pizzas. This is a bit of an un-recipe - these measurements are an approximation because I eyeballed the entire thing and kept going with the ingredients until it looked and tasted right. My pesto was thick because I wanted it for a pizza sauce, but it would be easily loosened up with some more olive oil. I used walnuts only because that is what I had on hand – you can use pine nuts, or toasted almonds or even roasted pumpkin seeds. If you want a vegan option, subsitute nutritional yeast for the parmesan cheese.
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto (or Pizza Sauce)
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/2 cup of the oil the tomatoes were packed in (or olive oil, if they weren’t)
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 small bunch basil (or parsley)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- salt and pepper
- 1 small ripe tomato (optional)
Puree everything together in a food processor until smooth. I added in the tomato to give a bit more red colour to the pesto and I liked the consistancy it gave. You can leave it out, but the pesto will be a bit more green in colour.
This made enough for the pizza, with some leftover for pasta later in the week. Or maybe a pasta salad.