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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Pesto Rosso: Substituting Red for Green in Delicious Pesto

We normally think of pesto as being green and made with lots of basil right out of the garden. Saveur magazine's recent celebration of pesto noted that it is merely a paste, usually made in using a mortar and  pestle, so it can be made with lots of different ingredients.

Today we tried a pesto that doesn't even depend on fresh greens from the garden (except a small amount of rosemary). Instead it's foundation is sun-dried tomatoes. We found it to be absolutely addictive and a wonderful hors d'oeuvre when spread on a nice slice of crusty peasant bread — or a cracker.

Pesto Rosso

1 cup virgin olive oil
1/2 cupe toasted almonds, chopped
2 Tbsp. rosemary leaves, minced
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. paprika (or Aleppo pepper, if you've got it)
20 pitted oil-cured black olives
10 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Process oil, almonds, rosemary, vinegar, sugar, paprika, olives, tomatoes and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped; season with salt and pepper.

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