Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Paleo Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto

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Wow is all I can say about this sauce. Thanks to Pinterest I stumbled upon Angela Liddon's vegan roasted tomato basil pesto from her blog Oh She Glows. I'm obsessed with pesto, and I love to try out new versions. Angela's looked easy, scrumptious and paleo-compliant!

While I think this one will best be made in the summer, with tomatoes and basil fresh from the farm or garden, it was still delicious. The caveman actually declared it my best pesto ever, and I make the sauce quite a bit.

I whipped this up early this morning, and plan to serve it over zucchini noodles for lunch. I also think this would taste delicious with chicken, egg, roasted veggies... on so on.

I definitely intend to follow Angela's advice and garnished my bowl with some of the leftover toasted almonds and thinly sliced basil. While she suggests the nutritional yeast is optional, I really felt it added both body and flavor to the sauce, really taking the place of the standard Parmesan that's usually present.

Honestly, I can't recommend this one enough and can't wait to make it again!

Vegan Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto
from Oh She Glows

9 roma tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1/2 cup raw slivered almonds
2 garlic coves
1 cup tightly packed fresh basil (and more for garnish)
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling on tomatoes
2 tbs. nutritional yeast
salt & pepper, to taste 

Preheat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment. Place sliced tomatoes on the sheet and drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 1 hour and 10 mins at 400F. Watch closely during the last 15 minutes of roasting (I roasted mine for only 1 hour).

Reduce oven heat to 325F and toast almonds for 8-10 minutes (you could alternately do this in a skillet on the stove top over low heat). Add 1/3 cup into food processor and process until finely chopped. Remove and set aside.

With processor turned on, add 2 garlic cloves and let it whirl around until finely chopped. Now add in the basil and process until finely chopped.

Add in the oil, nutritional yeast, and 1.5 cups of roasted tomatoes (you will have tomatoes left over). Process until smooth. Pulse in 1/3 cup toasted almonds. Season generously with salt and pepper.

If serving your pesto with zucchini noodles, you can chop up some of the remaining roasted tomatoes and stir into the "noodles," and top off with some thinly sliced basil and chopped almonds.

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