I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for it to be summer. I miss my garden and my tomatoes and the sun.   Solution: sun dried tomatoes.  They pack a punch of flavor that gets me by until it warms up again.

By now, I’m sure everyone has heard of and probably tried these tasty little morsels. We simply can’t get enough of them at my house.

A few years ago, my cousin brought some delicious Sun Dried Tomato Pesto from her local deli to a luncheon. Man was it good! Then and there I decided to come up with my own version because, if I do say so myself, it is the most delicious dip/spread to ever grace my palate.

This is a recipe that is forgiving and open to adaptations.  I just gave a rough estimate of how I make it.  Feel free to add other herbs or ingredients to make it your own.

P.S.  This is a great thing to make and take to a party.

(The pesto pictured above was made from oil-packed sun dried tomatoes and is a bit darker in color.  The toasts are simply slices of  a baguette brushed with olive oil and topped with Parmesan cheese, then broiled. )

You can use sun dried tomatoes bottled with olive oil, or loose in a bag. You can find instructions for soaking and softening the tomatoes here.  When I don’t have fresh herbs on hand, I use dried herbs and it works also works great.  Use whatever you have on hand.

The pictures below show the bagged tomatoes that I soaked. Honestly, I like it better with the oil-packed tomatoes because it’s easier, but either way is really great.  Add less olive oil if you use bottled sun dried tomatoes.

1. A handful each of toasted almonds and pine nuts
2. 3 oz. or so soaked sun-dried tomatoes (or packed in oil)
3. Parmegiano-Reggiano to taste (I used 1/2 cup and it was a little too much.)
4. grated onion (abt. 1/4 of a small onion), 1 clove garlic (or more to taste), fresh parsley, red pepper flakes, freshly ground black pepper, kosher salt, dried basil (use fresh if you have it on hand)
5. Really good Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Place the sun-dried tomatoes in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the tomatoes are roughly chopped. Add the remaining ingredients up to the olive oil. Process until smooth. Add enough olive oil to make the pesto the desired consistency–about 1/2 to 3/4 cup.

Yields about 2 cups.

Serving suggestions:

Spread for crackers, toasted bread rounds, sandwiches
Dip for veggies
Pasta sauce–you should a little pasta cooking water for a smoother sauce

Easy View Ingredient List:
1, 3 oz. package sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water (or 1 jar of oil-packed tomatoes)
1/4 to 1/2 cup good Parmesan cheese (read: not Kraft)
1/2 to 3/4 cup good extra-virgin olive oil
black pepper
red pepper flakes
salt
basil
parsley
1/4 sweet onion
1 clove garlic

Related Links:
The Best Chicken Sandwich (chicken, Chevre, and sun-dried tomato pesto)
Mixed Greens Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
How-To: Soaking and Softening Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Lindsey Johnson is a SAHM to three little rascals and former food blogger.  In her spare time she enjoys cooking, baking, photography, and reading.