The Big Green Parenting Experiment

raising a healthy family in a toxic world

fresh friday: sun-dried tomato pesto!

on September 14, 2012

Still buried in tomatoes over here!  We are still enjoying them, though and we are starting to get pretty creative.  I’ve been making a LOT of classic pesto this summer so this week I decided to make one of my husband’s favorites. Sun dried tomato pesto!  So good.

 I did a bunch of research online about oven drying tomatoes and I decided to give that a try. We do own a dehydrator but it would have taken DAYS for tomatoes to dry.  I just wasn’t feeling that patient.  I’m still not so sure about the oven drying, but for this purpose it worked out fine.  And the outcome was delicious!

To dry the tomatoes, I simply set the oven to 250 and placed the halved tomatoes on parchment lined baking sheets.  I used red slicer tomatoes and some green tiger heirlooms.


According to different sites online, drying time can vary anywhere from 2 to 12 hours, depending on the size of the tomatoes. It ended up taking mine about 10.  Roma’s may have been a better choice, but I just used what I had.  They came out a bit sticky as if there was still a bit of moisture in them.  But I was ready for bed, so I considered them done. I think next time I’ll just suck it up and get out the dehydrator, but I’m glad I tried it.


Now, on to the PESTO!

sun-dried tomato pesto


1 1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 c. fresh basil
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic
1/3 c. fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/3 c. walnuts (or pine nuts)

*All of the quantities are approximate and can be adjusted to your taste. 

Place sun-dried tomatoes, basil, garlic and some of the olive oil in food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times.  Add remaining olive oil, parmesan cheese and nuts (I only had walnuts on hand.) and turn food processor on for 30 seconds.  Scrape down sides of bowl and turn on for another 30 – 60 seconds, depending on desired consistency.  You may need to add more olive oil if you’d like a thinner pesto.  I tend to keep it a bit thick and spreadable and dilute it with olive oil, if i have to, as I use it.

Pack into cute, small jar that you’ve been saving just for pesto and store in refrigerator.  Actually, any air tight container will do.


That’s it!  It’s so easy and SO good!  We love to spread it on our dough when we make pizza instead of sauce.  I think today during nap time I’m going to try to make some whole wheat ciabatta rolls.  I’m envisioning grilled eggplant (we still have 2 from CSA last week), fresh mozzarella and sun-dried tomato pesto on a ciabatta panini!  I may have to update this post if my vision actually comes to life!

OK.  I am now officially hungry!

Happy Friday!  Enjoy!


12 responses to “fresh friday: sun-dried tomato pesto!

  1. Oh yum! What a fantastic idea! And your vision of eggplant/mozzarella/sun-dried tomato paninis sounds out of this world! AND I give you a ton of credit for being patient enough for 10 hours cause I just don’t have that in me, ha!

    • Alli Ferraro says:

      Thanks Jessica! Yeah, 10 hours was tough. I really wasn’t anticipating that! Good thing it came out super tasty!
      Bulk pre-dried tomatoes work just as well, of course. Normally I’d use those but we had somewhere between 20 and 30 tomatoes to use up. Perfect time for experimenting! 🙂

  2. Thyme says:

    I love your blog, and how you offer healthy alternatives! Your newest follower, Thyme.
    Feel free to follow back!

  3. Hello from The TT Diaries your newest fan from the weekend blog walk. This recipe sounds so yummy although I doubt I would be able to wait 10 hours. Maybe if I put them in and then went to bed 🙂

  4. Jessica says:

    Delish! And great tip for if I ever decide to try and dry tomatoes in my oven- I hate waiting for things too! Thanks for linking up at Meatless Monday!

  5. inherchucks says:

    Oh man! This looks so darn tasty…I can actually taste it 🙂

    Thanks for linking up and sharing your goodies with the rest of the CSA link party!

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