Sun Dried Tomato Pesto elevates the simplest of tomato based dishes in a matter of seconds. It's quick to make, and I can assure you that you will never go back! It can be your secret ingredient to wow your mother-in-law (I won't tell).
The flavor is nutty, sweet and peppery from the pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes and fresh basil. Adding parmesan and garlic gives it a comforting savory kick and a little salt to balance everything out. This recipe is just slightly adapted from Little Spice Jar. When something works, it works! I'm sharing it here because I use it in many of my own dishes.
What to use Sun Dried Tomato Pesto in?
Among others, I use it in my extra veggie spaghetti bolognese (I haven't really gotten around to sharing this recipe yet, but you can get a feel of it in this pumpkin bolognese), in this mozzarella chicken, on pita pizzas, pizza sauces in general and everything tomato related.
I use it like I use tomato puree in dishes, and approximately the same amount. You can omit tomato puree in any dish and use this sun dried tomato pesto instead. It's a secret umami bomb.
I usually use green pesto in this green shakshuka and chicken pesto pasta, but you can always use this sun dried tomato pesto as well. It will just be a little more tomatoey and who said that was wrong? No one.
How to Store Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
I make a batch and keep it in the fridge in an airtight container. Because the jar of the sun-dried tomatoes is about 1 cup, I tend to re-use this glass jar. It's the perfect size! Clean it properly and if you sanitize the jar too, the pesto will keep for a few weeks in the fridge.
Sanitizing just means to wash the jar in hot soapy water and place them in a warm oven for about 20 minutes on 225F (110C). However, remember they will be super hot so no touchy with any fingers!
And quite frankly, I never do this anyway, because I tend to use up my sun dried tomato pesto before it can ever go bad in a normally clean jar. This will definitely depend on how often you eat tomato based dishes. And sometimes I even use half of the jar in one dish because it's so yummy. You can read more on sanitizing here.
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
This recipe takes probably less than 5 minutes to get together. But you do need a food processor. Add all the ingredients apart from the olive oil, process a little before pouring the olive oil slowly into the food processor while it's processing.
Process until desired smoothness, I like a few small chunks of pine nuts in mine. If you find it to be too thick, just add a tablespoon of olive oil at a time. It can be used immediately or stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
Use a Food Processor
I'm stressing the fact that you need a food processor, and not a blender, because I have a tendency to overlook this. I always go for the blender first, realizing it was a mistake, and then I have to clean two appliances instead of one... It's just that the food processor is at the back of the cupboard, so everything needs to go out. Complete war zone, I definitely need a better system.
As you may have noticed, I also shot the photo above with a blender too - what is wrong with me! I guess I'm just so excited and want it to go fast, but then it takes twice as long. #hungrylogic
Well, there's obviously more powerful blenders than mine too, so if you want you can definitely try that first. But because this is such a small amount, the blades of my blender can't really access the ingredients. It is terribly annoying but I've done it a million times! I think I've learned to just get the food processor out now, though.
Is Homemade Pesto Cheaper?
I know that Americans say that making your own pesto is much cheaper than getting store bought, but I am not sure that is the case here in Norway. Nuts are so expensive here, and pine nuts are no exception. And since you usually need a whole lot of pine nuts and basil, it doesn't come out on the cheaper side. However, that doesn't always matter, because the taste makes it worth it.
Sun dried tomato pesto is so easy to make, it lasts a long time, and it can be used in so many dishes. It will add another dimension to your tomato based dishes and elevates the dish. I promise you, you will not go back.
Do you have any secret ingredients up your sleeve?
More Spice Blends and Condiments:
I'd love to hear from you, either in the comment section below, or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don't forget to Pin it for later!
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This recipe was originally published on April 20th 2018, but updated on June 11th 2019 for better photos and content.