I’ve had pesto on the brain all week. My two lonely basil plants are finally producing enough to make a batch of pesto. One problem, though. The bunnies in our backyard keeping eating my tomatoes. Every. Single. One. …sigh….
Fortunately, Faithful Ground Farms came to my rescue! They set up a farmer’s market stand on Thursday in the building I work in. This isn’t a typically occurence at our building in the ‘burbs, so needless to say, they had lots of customers happily checking out their produce. Home I went (is that grammatically correct???) with my lovely paper bag of Roma tomatoes and an extra bunch of basil…which, by the way, made my desk at work smell heavenly for the rest of the day.
Sometimes I make pesto with the traditional pine nuts combination…but cashews…well…they just seem richer and more decadent. It doesn’t hurt that cashews cost less than pine nuts either.
And now you may be wondering, but what about the tomatoes…they don’t belong in pesto, right??? Wrong. Delicately roasted tomatoes make the PERFECT addition to pesto. They add a creamy, delicious kick to the mix and compliment the basil and garlic very nicely.
Roasted Tomato Cashew Pesto
There’s really no exact recipe for this one, a little of this and that, with several finger dip tastings as you go, works best.
6 tomatoes (I used a mix of Roma and cherry…yes a few tiny cherry tomatoes survived the bunnies…they were well hidden)
2-3 cups basil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic
handful of cashews (to your liking)
olive oil (I used a mix of EVOO and garlic olive oil)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice tomatoes in half, sprinkle with sea salt, and roast for 15 minutes. When cooled, toss tomatoes in food processor with all other ingredients, except the oil. Pulse a few times to get things moving. Stop and wonder why it’s not working…then realize you put in your dough blade rather than your sharp cutting blade…oops my mistake. Slowly add oil until the pesto is properly processed and is at the consistency you want. I would say I used about a half cup of oil. I like my pesto thick, so that I can pile it on top of crusty french bread or add a few scoops to pasta, thinned with a little more EVOO if necessary. Store remaining pesto in fridge for no more than a few days, or freeze for later.