I had 1 pound of gorgeous little plum tomatoes and no good plan for their use. So I decided to do a mini-version of Joanne’s tomato sauce (go to the comments on the post for the directions). She had 25 pounds of tomatoes to my 1 pound, but I figured the basic approach would work, and I could freeze my little bit of sauce for later.
So I washed my ‘maters. (Aren’t they pretty?)
I halved them, squeezed out most of the seeds, put them in the bottom of a shallow pan, tossed them with olive oil and stuck them in the oven. I decided I could speed things along by using the “convection bake” setting on my oven (which provides both a bottom heating element and a fan) and lowered the temp to 325. I thought an hour would be plenty of time, compared with Joanne’s two hours.
Then, I went about my business … and forgot all about the tomatoes. (Timer? What timer?) When I returned an hour and a half or so later, I had something akin to but not quite dried tomatoes. Oops.
What to do? I consulted a recipe I have for Dried Tomato Pesto. I consulted my refrigerator contents. I came up with a tasty and zingy cousin of that recipe. Here’s what I came up with. It could probably use more herbs, if you have and like them, but it’s excellent as it is, if I do say so.
Serendipity tomato pesto
- 1 pound plum tomatoes
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, approximately, divided
- 1 shallot, peeled and quartered
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
- 2 roasted, peeled Anaheim peppers
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesano Reggiano
- Trim stem scar and halve tomatoes lengthwise. Squeeze out seeds if desired. Place in single layer in roasting pan and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil to coat lightly. Bake 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees (or convection-bake at 325 degrees), until tomatoes are soft and partially dried. (I allowed the tomatoes to cool while I figured out what to do, but cooling may not be necessary.)
- Scrape tomatoes into bowl of food processor with shallots, olives, oregano and peppers. Pulse several times until ingredients are minced but not pureed. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and pulse a couple more times. Add more olive oil if necessary to achieve the consistency you desire.
- Transfer mixture to bowl and let flavors develop overnight. Stir in Parmesan, and toss with hot cooked pasta. Makes about 1 1/4 cups pesto.
Note: I also tried it, minus the Parmesan, as a sandwich spread. It was good, but I preferred it with the Parmesan and pasta.