This slow roasted tomato and pepita pesto highlights one of the many ways to use slow roasted tomatoes. It’s a herby variation of this sun-dried tomato pesto with big summer flavors. It’s a favorite summer pesto that takes ingredients that are plentiful during the season, and making a versatile sauce for our summer revelry, it’s the ultimate condiment. I put it in and on everything! It’s perfect tossed with pasta, makes a great pizza sauce and sandwich spread.

Slow Roasted Tomato and Pepita Pesto [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Ingredients

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes (or 4 cups quartered medium-sized tomatoes)
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 tablespoon coarse sea salt and ground black pepper, to roast with tomatoes
  • 1 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 3 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or 1/2 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3/4-1 cup olive oil, plus more to cover the pesto for storage
  • Salt to taste
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Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 225°F.
  2. Cut tomatoes in half, and toss gently in a bowl with garlic, olive oil, rosemary, sea salt and ground black pepper
  3. Spread on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer
  4. Bake for 2 – 3 hours, until tomatoes are reduced in size and shriveled up, they should be dry but still juicy
  5. Using a food processor, pulse pepitas and basil for a few seconds to combine
  6. Add tomatoes and Aleppo pepper and pulse into a chunky paste
  7. Drizzle in olive oil through the feed tube while the food processor is running - blend until the ingredients are well combined and pesto is as coarse or as smooth as desired
  8. Check for salt and add more if desired
  9. Use immediately, or store in a jar or airtight container covered in a thin layer of olive oil
  10. Enjoy!
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