I am finally getting around to making up some pesto to use and freeze–last year by now I was already on a roll. Since our tomato crop has been out of control, I decided to “sun dry” a bunch in the oven and then add it to my traditional pesto recipe. It really boosts the flavor and also does wonders for the volume.
For the tomatoes, I either slice up a regular sized tomato or use a bunch of cherry tomatoes and poke holes in them first so they don’t explode in the oven. Generously coat with olive oil, sprinkle some kosher salt on top, and roast for a whole day (maybe 6-8 hours) at around 200 degrees. I let them cool and then store them in a zip lock bag after adding more olive oil to keep them moist.
I improvise a lot with the pesto. This year I seem to be using the following ingredients and amounts:
2 cups basil
1/2 cup Romano cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup walnuts
2 cloves garlic
(Romano cheese and walnuts are cheaper than Parmesan and pine nuts.)
The dry ingredients go into the processor first and then I add the tomatoes and olive oil. Keep pulsing until it’s at a consistency that you like. You could adjust any of these amounts based on your taste, as well.
The final product: