Years ago I made a tomato almond pesto for a Maltese friend. She was skeptical but after the first bite decided it was better than regular pesto – I know. It’s a big call!
I meant to write about it but somehow the idea got lost.
Then recently I saw a recipe in Gourmet Traveller (my favourite food mag) for ‘Pesto alla Trapanese’ using sun dried tomato and almond. I couldn’t wait to get into the kitchen and rekindle my tomato pesto love.
While the sun dried tomato was good, it’s not an ingredient I have on hand all the time, which gave me the idea to use tomato paste. A definite pantry staple.
Like green pesto, this works so well with everything. On eggs, veggies, meat, burgers, you name it. Like and adult ketchup.
Definitely one to add to your repertoire – especially in Winter when basil is out of season.
Tomato Almond Pesto
- 200 g roast almonds
- 100 g tomato paste
- 1 large bunch flat leaf parsley (50g / 2oz)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (200g / 7oz)
Roughly chop parsley leaves and stems. Place almonds, tomato paste, parsley, garlic and a generous pinch of salt in the bowl of your food processor.
Process for 1-2 minutes or until everything is very finely chopped and coming together as a thick paste. Scrape down the sides then puree for another few seconds.
Add oil and stir in manually (or pulse with the food processor) - I find the flavour better when I stir.
Taste and season with more salt as needed.
NET CARBS: 3g / serve (approx 3 tablespoons)
Variations & Substitutions Tomato Almond Pesto
nightshade-free – replace tomato paste with finely grated parmesan – both are excellent sources of umami (savoury) flavours. Be prepared to add a little more oil if it’s dry and a squeeze of lemon to add the acid that the tomato brings.
nut-free – you’ll need to change the name but replace nuts with equal parts grated parmesan and soft bread crumbs.
Low FODMAP – go with a traditional pesto.
different nuts – walnuts, macadamias, pine nuts, cashews – or a combo of any of these. You can also use unroasted almonds – they flavour will just be milder.
different herbs – basil, coriander (cilantro) or oregano would also work.
different tomato – semi or dun dried tomato will work equally well. Or try cherry tomatoes for a fresher, less intense version.
different vegetables – the thought just occurred that roast eggplant, bell peppers (capsicum) or zucchini would all make lovely pestos like this.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
roast almonds / tomato paste / extra virgin olive oil – keep them in the pantry.
flat leaf parsley – tends to be the most long lasting of the leafy herbs. Should keep for a few weeks in the fridge if wrapped in a plastic bag. For longer periods pop it in the freezer – it will wilt but will still be useable in this dish.
garlic – will keep in the pantry for months. Best if in a dark corner in a brown paper bag.
Problem Solving Guide
bland – more salt! a splash of wine vinegar or a squeeze of lemon can help.
too dry – add more oil or even pulse in some water.
no food processor – finely chop everything (or use almond meal / almond flour) and stir together with a spoon. The texture will be coarser but not necessarily bad.
too oily – pulse in the food processor to emulsify more.
Prepare Ahead Tomato Almond Pesto
Yes – the texture changes over time to be softer and without the almond crunch but it’s still delicious. Just make as per the recipe. Leftovers will keep in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or can be frozen. I often stir in a little lemon juice to freshen it up before serving.
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- The Magic Green Sausage Supper (sausage broccoli pesto)
- Pesto, Olive & Feta Frittata
- Summer Sausages with Pea & Pesto Mash
- The Best Simple Pesto Substitutes
Have fun in the kitchen!