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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.


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


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.