Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Fresh Tomato Pesto: How to Make, Put Up, and Use It

Fresh Tomato Pesto: How to Make, Put Up, and Use It

I hate to waste food, and I'm pretty sure that you hate to waste food, too.

As I get to know the people who grow my food, I also hate to waste their time and the literal fruits of their labors.  When I decided to start a blog, I did so because I'd had success figuring out ways to take the farm share produce (that came into my house between May and November) and feed it to my family during the off season as well.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2013/06/fresh-tomato-pesto-how-to-make-put-up.html


I know you like to eat tasty food (you're reading a food blog, so this is a guess, I'm not stalking you or anything) but it's just common sense not to enjoy composting or throwing away something you paid for that could have benefited you, your family, or hungry folks in your community had it been consumed in time.

So I need to share today a lesson in putting up a food which you may think couldn't ever be wasted:  a garden fresh tomato.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2013/06/fresh-tomato-pesto-how-to-make-put-up.html
As soon as you have fresh (yours or someone's garden, CSA farm share, or farmer's market--not grocery store) tomatoes, please make this.  You'll thank me!  I've been thanking Heather! Not Simon, who photobombed the shot.
I know you're thinking "What, is she crazy?  I look forward to tomatoes from my garden all winter long!  I start them too early in the Spring because I can. not. wait. to eat fresh tomatoes!"

Sure, sure. You're saying this in May.  In June.  But what are you saying in September? October?

The fresh picked tomato has less of an appeal then.  That's the time I am canning tomatoes, slow roasting tomatoes, doing anything but simply enjoying the fresh flavor of a tomato allowed to ripen naturally and picked at its peak of flavor.

Why am I nattering on about this?  To put you in my mindset last fall when Heather posted her Cherry Tomato Pesto recipe. I had all the ingredients so I thought I'd give it a whirl (pun totally intended), but I was not expecting my reaction to my first taste of it.

It's broke da mouth good.
I was licking the bowl of the food processor when my spouse walked into the kitchen.  I sheepishly gave him a taste, and then he understood why.  Not content to make the recipe once (and in the interests of science and/or this blog), I made it multiple times, shown here.  I've used your basic red tomato, yellow taxi tomatoes, indigo rose tomatoes.  I've used cashews and almonds, and Leanne suggests it's great with macadamia nuts for a more dairy feel--without dairy.  I've used fresh basil, fresh parsley, and, when the fresh stuff ran out, I've made it with put up Arugula Pesto and Basil pesto right from the freezer.  I froze a bunch of tomato pesto in November, and thawed the final bag in April (shown above, after I learned to take a slightly better photo of it, even though the dog photobombed me).  I'll go so far as to say that you could make this pesto with any kind of tomato, nearly any kind of nut you have available, and nearly any kind of flavorful leafy green or herb you have available and it will taste great.

For other recipes using yellow or red (or orange, or purple--the variety of tomatoes in the farm share continues to astound me), please see my Tomato Recipes Collection. [I have a separate one for recipes made with Green Tomatoes]. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me who need ideas for what to do with an abundance of _____ (insert name of produce here). I've got a Tomatoes Board on Pinterest where I pin a variety of recipes that catch my tomato-loving eye, and on my FB page I share interesting recipes from around the web.
Want to know how to Use This Blog? Click here.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2013/06/fresh-tomato-pesto-how-to-make-put-up.html

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2013/06/fresh-tomato-pesto-how-to-make-put-up.html

Fresh Tomato Pesto Sauce (very slightly adapted from Heather's Cherry Tomato Pesto)

4 medium or 2 large tomatoes (tops to the composting pigs!)
1/2 cup packed basil, parsley, or arugula leaves
1/3 cup salted cashews, almonds, or macadamia nuts
1 clove garlic (or use some roasted garlic, if you like)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Throw everything in the food processor.  Pulse a few times to chunk it up, then puree on high several seconds until smooth.  Scrape down sides and puree a couple moments more to get that last pesky piece of cashew incorporated.  Store in the fridge a few days, or in the freezer at least up to 6 months.
(makes enough for 2 pizzas plus an appetizer for a hungry spouse who walks into the kitchen while you're licking the bowl because it tastes so amazing)

We enjoyed this on pita chips, tortilla chips, carrot slices, baguettes, and pasta.
I've used it on a few pizzas, too:
Not-So-Simple Cheese Pizza
Five Cheese Pizza with Indigo Rose Tomato and Almond Pesto on a Butternut Squash Crust
Broccoli Rabe, Mushroom, and Roasted Garlic with Fresh Mozzarella and Fresh Tomato Pesto
Beef, Mushroom, and Fresh Tomato Pesto FFF-boli
Buttermilk Crust Pizza with Pepperoni and Fresh Tomato Sauce

This post is bopping around to What's Cookin' Wednesday, waving "hi!" to Heather, who first shared this recipe, at What's In The Box,  the From The Farm Blog Hop the Clever Chicks Blog Hop , Tasty Tuesdays, and the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up, Real Food Fridays.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2013/06/fresh-tomato-pesto-how-to-make-put-up.html

24 comments:

  1. Yum! I love having different pestos in my freezer. Such a treat :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alyssa,
      Me, too! So nice to see in the winter, when I'm hungry for fresh, and so nice to know that I didn't waste food when it's abundant.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  2. If I have late-season tomatoes this year (please oh please) I am totally making LOTS of this. I made some last year based on Heather's recipe and it was the BOMB.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lauren,
      It's been such a cool, wet spring compared to recent years. I'm curious what's in store for the fall. I'd love late season tomatoes.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  3. OH MY! I am so making this as soon as our tomatoes start inundating us. I hope I am not jinxing us by admitting that I expect to be overwhelmed with tomatoes. I do admit that I was sort of tired of tomatoes by last October. We always get so many cherry tomatoes and they are annoying to make into sauce – pesto is the answer! Thank you, thank you, thank you! :)
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah,
      I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets tired of tomatoes in the fall!
      Thanks!

      Delete
  4. What a great idea! I love any kind of pesto, and I think this would be great for my kid who doesn't like tomatoes. I love having good stuff stashed in the freezer, it's like gold. Pinning so I remember when the tomatoes start to show up :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sherri,
      My kids have not yet learned to appreciate the deliciousness that is a summer tomato sandwich (though they'll eat tomato sauce no problem) and they like pizza with this tomato pesto on it.
      Please let me know how it turns out!
      Thanks!

      Delete
  5. I really love your ambition. I am a spur of the moment kind of girl. If I freeze to many things, it will stay frozen until the end of time. Your pesto sauces look and sound awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marlene,
      I don't know if it's ambition or desperation when you're looking at a counter full of tomatoes and have to come up with some way to deal with them before they spoil!
      You know with your CSA, it's in the house, now you've got to do something with it!
      I use my kids to help me with the management of the freezer and pantry--they remove everything (and used to create castles with the canned goods when they were younger) and I reorganize it all. That helps me from having stuff frozen until the end of time!
      Thanks!

      Delete
  6. Okay so I am TOTALLY making this ... you are such an inspiration, Kir!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alanna,
      You think I'm an inspiration?! As I shook my sherry vinegar, which I bought thanks to you, on my beet greens yesterday, thinking if I had enough eaters I'd be making your Greens 'n All Beet Soup instead. You're the inspiration here!
      Thanks!

      Delete
  7. Just when I needed a good recipe for my yellow tomatoes that are ripening like crazy! I am making this tonight! Thanks for the recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tina,
      You know, I was worried publishing this too far ahead of tomato season, so thank you for letting me know that someone, somewhere, has ripening tomatoes. My plants are all growing, but no tomatoes in sight here.
      Please let me know how it turns out.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  8. I need to bookmark this for when we are drowning in cherry tomatoes.

    And, when I get tired of garlic scapes ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Annie,
      Cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes--no matter it's all good and will make tasty pesto. Though I think I'm partial to colors other than red, for some reason.
      I look forward to my garlic scapes, so I can't imagine being tired of them, but perhaps if I get to put up as much as you have, I may want a pleasant change from the freezer.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  9. You have used this recipe on so many pizza and raved it about it for so long that I'm ready to start licking yoru food processor. Thanks for sharing it, and I can't wait to actually make it. I put some tomato plants in this weekend with you and this recipe in mind. I love it, and I love Simon the photobomber. You are welcome to stalk me anytime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meghan,
      I wondered if I should write about licking the food processor, and I'm glad I did, because it really gives a visual of how tasty this pesto is.
      Simon the photobomber is hiding under my table. Silly dog.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  10. I'm definitely bookmarking this recipe, thank you for posting! I love any kind of pesto. One of my cats loves to photo bomb, which is partially why I have to place food on the counter or dining room table to photograph it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie,
      I'm going to try the "oh look there's an elephant!" method to try and preempt the next photobombing. It was just classic moment: no one was outside when I'd gotten to the point in my pizza preparations that I was ready to photograph. So I go out and set up a chair. Then my son decides to finally empty the compost bucket (the indistinct white blob at the top is him) and the dog goes outside with him, so when I reappear with my camera and pesto it's a party in the back yard.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  11. Wow! I love all your different renditions. Makes life so much more interesting when you change it up.

    Thanks for sharing and linking up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heather,
      THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for sharing your Cherry Tomato Pesto in the first place!
      And for hosting!

      Delete
  12. Yellow tomato pesto???? mmmm! Thank you so much for linking up with me this week at Tasty Tuesdays! I’ve pinned this & shared it with my followers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anyonita,
      Thank you for pinning, and thanks for hosting!

      Delete

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