There is something oddly pleasurable in waiting for something to happen…Is it the excitement of anticipation, or the psychosomatic reality of some internal brain injury? I’m not sure, but either way it was been weird and fun to watch a pan full of tomatoes slowly transform in the sun from perishable to imperishable before my eyes. I was thinking that this process of dehydration and preservation would take about 4 days, but with the nice heatwave we have been having, after 36 hours the job was done and I had myself a full batch of sun dried tomatoes. The obvious question now is what do you do with them? Sun dried tomatoes add a background flavour to any dish that they are added to, but I wanted to give you a recipe that would showcase their robust and intensely satisfying flavours all on their own. The choice was easy, I had to make a red pesto and serve it with a simple pasta.
What you need:
- 1 cup sun dried tomatoes
- Olive oil as needed (1/2- 1 cup)
- 1 handful of fresh basil
- 1 green onion
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup grated romano cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pasta of your choice
How it’s done:
- In a blender or food processor add the tomatoes and a little of the oil and pulse it to give it a rough chop.
- Add the cheese, basil, onion, walnuts and a little more oil and blend everything into a rough consistency.
- Season with a little salt and pepper, and continue blending adding olive oil, a little at a time until you have a nice thick, paste.
- Cook your pasta as per package instructions (or even better homemade)
- Toss the pesto with the pasta and serve with a little grated cheese over the top. Simply amazing!
So now you have a pile of crispy chewy tomatoes on your counter, how do you store them? The easiest thing to do is to pop them into a ziploc and store them in your cupboard until needed. But don’t do that, it’s very anticlimactic. A better way is to put them into a glass jar with a sealable lid and cover them with olive oil. So that while you are storing the tomatoes until you are ready to use them, a beautiful marriage occurs in the jar. Other than the obvious act of preserving, the tomatoes marinate in the oil, and the oil absorbs the tomato flavours…a perfect match. So if you want a little tomato flavour without the tomato, use a little of the oil instead. Have fun and experiment!