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Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

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Makes about 3 cups.
By Dennis W. Viau; an original recipe.

A fan of the web site gave me the idea for this pesto. The formula is very close to that for making traditional pesto, but sun-dried tomatoes are added during the processing for a different flavor. This pesto is delicious and would be excellent for pasta. I use it on fish. It would be equally good on croûtes as an appetizer or snack.

Ingredients:

4 ounces (113g) pine nuts (almonds or roasted pecans can be substituted)
2 to 2½ ounces (57g to 71g) fresh basil leaves; stems removed
4 to 5 cloves of garlic
6 ounces (170g) sun-dried tomatoes
½ cup (118ml) extra virgin olive oil plus another 1 to 1½ cups as needed
1 cup (100g) grated or shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese
The leaves from a few sprigs of flat leaf (Italian) parsley (optional)
Pinch of salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

The best pesto is made by crushing the basil leaves, releasing the juices. Place the pine nuts (or other nuts) in a sturdy plastic bag along with the basil are garlic. Seal the bag and pound the ingredients with a mallet or other heavy tool to crush the contents well. This could take several minutes.

Transfer the contents from the bag to a food processor. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, ½ cup of olive oil, cheese, and optional parsley leaves. Process to a grainy texture. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.

Transfer the pesto to a medium bowl and add additional olive oil as needed for the desired texture. To garnish fish, maybe less than a cup would be enough to make a thick pesto. For pasta, for which you might want the pesto to flow through the cooked pasta, 1 to 1½ cups of additional olive oil might be needed to make a more fluid pesto. Adjust the texture according to your needs.