Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Pesto with Almonds Recipe

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto with Almonds is a very flavorful twist on basil pesto.  Great to use on pizza, vegetable tarts, pasta, sandwiches, in omelets, or add to Italian-style soups.

There is nothing like the smell of fresh basil – one of the most recognized fragrances of summer.  Basil has become one of the most popular herbs in the garden today.  It is my favorite herb, especially in the summer and autumn when vine-ripen tomatoes are available.  If you’re not lucky enough to grow your own basil, it can be found in your supermarket.  Look for evenly colored, bright green leaves with no sign of wilting or dark spots.

This outstanding Basil Peso with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Almonds recipe, comments, and photo were shared with my by Karen Calanchini, Food Stylist and Photographer, of Redding, CA.


Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Pesto


Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Pesto with Almonds Recipe:
Prep Time
20 mins
Total Time
20 mins
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Pesto with Almonds Recipe
Servings: 1 1/2 cups
  • 2 cups sun-dried tomatoes or Oven-Roasted Tomatoes, drained of the oil they were packed in or drained of the juice from the oven roasting
  • 1 tightly-packed cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, extra-virgin (or oil from the sun-dried tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup almonds, sliced
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • Coarse salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
  1. Wash the basil leaves, discard the stems, and dry thoroughly.  Also peel off any thick spines from any larger basil leaves.  NOTE: I use my salad spinner for washing and drying the basil leaves.

  2. In a food processor fitted with steel blades, add tomatoes, basil leaves, and garlic; process until basil and garlic are finely chopped.  With the machine on, drizzle in the olive oil to create a thick paste.  If needed, take the lid off the processor and scrape down the sides of the processor bowl and the lid using a rubber spatula.

  3. Add almond nuts and Parmesan cheese to the basil mixture and process 1 to 2 minutes or until the pesto is well mixed.

  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pulse a few more times.  Taste again and adjust seasonings, if needed.

  5. Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups.


Storing Pesto:

The pesto will keep for up to 4 weeks in a covered container in the refrigerator.  Pour a thin film of olive oil on top of the pesto to prevent discoloration.  For longer storage, do not add the Parmesan cheese until ready to use.  Below are some ideas on how to freeze pesto:

Press plastic wrap against the surface of the pesto to minimize any exposure to air and subsequent browning.  Refrigerate, tightly covered, for up to two weeks. Before using, leave at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

Spoon the pesto into a foil-lined custard cup; cover tightly with foil and freeze.  Once frozen, remove the foil-wrapped packet and store in a freezer bag for up to 2 to 3 months.  To use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or remove from the foil and thaw quickly in the microwave.  Add Parmesan cheese just before serving.

Freeze in ice cube trays.  I like to spray an ice cube tray with non-stick spray and fill each space with the pesto.  When frozen, remove each cube to a freezer bag.  You will be able to take out as many of the pesto cubes as your need. Usually one (1) cube is enough for adding flavor a a red pasta sauce or a pot of soup.


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