Pesto is traditionally made with pine nuts, walnuts or almonds but these days it might not contain nuts at all. This version is a little heavy for most types of pasta, but it is great as a spread or a dip.
Roasted Tomatoes 400g (14 oz) vine tomatoes Salt, caster (superfine granulated) sugar, pepper, extra virgin olive oil Pesto 2 cups roasted unsalted almonds with skin on ½ tsp flaky sea salt, or to taste 1 tsp sherry or red wine vinegar ½ cup extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 Preheat oven to 215°C (415°F). Line a shallow ovenproof tin (I use a Swiss roll tin) with baking (parchment) paper. Cut tomatoes in half and arrange in tin cut side uppermost. Sprinkle with sea salt and sugar. Grind over a little black pepper. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Roast for 20-30 minutes until collapsing and charring around the edges. Cool.
2 Put almonds, flaky sea salt and vinegar in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped, then with machine running, pour in oil to make it loose and spreadable. Transfer to a bowl and stir in cheese.
3 Set aside 3-4 tomato halves. Scoop tomato pulp from remaining tomatoes and add to bowl of almonds. Gather all the tomato skins and gently squeeze juices into bowl. Scrape all the tomato juices off paper into bowl and gently fold tomato and juices through almonds, leaving tomatoes a little pulpy. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl and garnish with reserved tomatoes.
Try this spread on French bread layered with roast chicken, baby spinach leaves or basil, or go all-veggie and use roasted or barbecued peppers (bell peppers / capsicums), eggplant (aubergine) and zucchini (courgette). The spread will keep for several days refrigerated.