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Serendipity yields delicious tomato concoction

August 29th, 2008 · 5 Comments · Food preparation, local food, recipes

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
  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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5 Comments so far ↓

  • Meryl

    Yum! I’m now thinking I might have to roast the tomatoes for a bit before I make my next batch of sauce.

  • Janet Majure

    Go for it. I nibbled one plain before the chopping began, and it was really sweet like a sun-dried tomato!

  • Joanne

    That sounds delicious! (hmm, I have more tomatoes, maybe I’ll try it!) I have to set the timer whenever I am cooking anything. I have to set it even when I put on my sprinkler outside! Otherwise, I putter around and–well–I could burn things or cause floods. Luckily, I have two timers, one on the microwave and one on the oven. Then it’s just remembering why I set them and what they mean! :)

  • Janet Majure

    Well, Joanne, obviously I need to use my timers, too! Have fun if you try this. I suspect it’s one you could fiddle with and make it just to your liking.

  • [eatingclub] vancouver || js

    Dried tomato pesto sounds delicious. Good thing you forgot the timer! ;)