Slow-roasted tomatoes and fresh pesto are two of my favorite things to make in the summer. Last year I had made several pans of slow-roasted tomatoes for a caprese salad, and had a lot leftover. So, on a whim, I added them to my pesto and a new recipe was born. I like to eat this pesto tossed with fresh pasta, spread on a baguette slice, or even drizzled over goat cheese or mozzarella. There are many delicious ways to enjoy it! —Kelsey Banfield
about 3 cups
fresh, ripe tomatoes (use a meaty, juicy variety like Roma or similar)
Line a 12x18 jelly roll pan with aluminum foil, set aside.
Wash and trim tomatoes. Cut them in half lengthwise and place in a large bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and toss them with your hands. Be gentle - you don't want to crush the tomatoes! Then, place them skin side down on the prepared pan.
Put the salt in a ramekin and sprinkle the salt, pinch by pinch, over the tomatoes. Make sure each tomato has a little bit of salt on it.
Bake tomatoes for about 3-3 1/2 hours, or until the tomatoes shrivel and brown around the edges, and have shrunk from their original size. Make sure they are still juicy in the middle - you don't want to dry them out completely. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Combine basil, garlic, lemon juice and salt in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Blend into a fine paste.
Add pine nuts and process until smooth. (Be sure to scrape down the sides to make sure everything gets combined completely.)
Add cheese and pulse until combined. (Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed!)
Add tomatoes and process until completely combined.
Finally, with the food processor running, pour olive oil into the pesto and process until mixture is smooth and creamy. If pesto seems too thick you can loosen it up with 1/4 cup more good olive oil.
Pesto can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen in an airtight container, or an ice-cube tray (for individual portions).
Home cook, food blogger, cookbook author, wine lover, avid traveler, and mother of two young children. Check out my books: The Naptime Chef: Fitting Great Food into Family Life (2012), and The Family Calendar Cookbook: From Birthdays to Bake Sales, Good Food to Carry You Through the Year (2015), Running Press.