Aromatic: Sun Dried Tomato and Purple Basil Pesto

Sundried Tomato Pesto (01) by MeetaK

A simple light meal today! The period from Thanksgiving right through to New Year’s is a killer. For the past few days I have been feeling extremely satiated. It’s all those parties and get-togethers that are the norm during this time of the year. We have so many events scheduled on our calendar this month and each one with promises of luscious food.

I dare not look at the weighing scale. I have tucked it away for now – as I am loosing the battle. It’s hard to resist when a colleague brings over a batch of freshly baked cookies, or when friends invite us for an aromatic Persian dinner or when various pre-Christmas parties are celebrated with colleagues and friends or even the walk through town with the Christmas market offering a huge variety of food. How can one not over-indulge?

I know I have put on an extra kilo – my jeans are telling me that and as if to revolt they have tightened around the waist to express their disapproval. So, I am cajoling those jeans today with a bowl of fresh fruit for lunch and for dinner - a small and light portion of pasta and my flavorful sun-dried tomato and purple basil pesto.

Basil-Purple (01) by MeetaK

There will be plenty of over eating and indulging during the next couple of days. A little pause is good. As for the weighing scale: I have a date with it next year when I battle the extra kilo and then my jeans will love me again.

I love pesto in any form and flavor. Whenever I find bunches of basil, wild garlic, coriander, rucola, spinach or any other ingredient that I can work into a pesto it surely lands into my shopping basket. Sun-dried tomatoes make a great pesto variety too. I love the intense flavor sun-dried tomatoes give the pesto and depending on the other ingredients you use to complement your pesto, you are always rewarded with a creamy and healthy pesto. Sun-dried tomato pesto is also amazingly versatile. I use it as sandwich spreads, to stuff gnocchi, in soups, stews or in salad dressing. It adds a beautiful fruity zing to the dish.  

Sundried Tomato Pesto (02) by MeetaK

At my organic store I found packages of sun-dried tomatoes and bunches of purple basil. Everything I required to compose a delicious pesto.

Recipe: Sun Dried Tomato and Purple Basil Pesto

Printable version of recipe here.

200g sun-dried tomatoes
50-60g Romano cheese, grated
Small bunch of purple basil
2-3 tablespoons pine nuts
4-5 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
180ml extra-virgin olive oil


Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl and fill enough water to cover the tomatoes. Allow to reconstitute until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain.

In a food processor, pulse together sun-dried tomatoes, Romano cheese, basil, thyme, pine nuts and garlic, until well chopped. Leave the food processor running and gradually drizzle the olive oil. Process until a smooth paste forms. Salt and pepper to taste.

Note: Stored in jars the sun-dried tomato pesto will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Tip: You can substitute the pine nuts with walnuts, cashew nuts or macademia nuts. You can use a variety of basil, like Thai basil or lemon basil or simple substitute the basil with wild garlic or rucola for a completely different aroma.



Sundried Tomato Pesto (03) by MeetaK

I normally double this recipe. When I make this sun-tomato pesto I know that it will be used up in no time. Although I love a simple pasta dish with the pesto, it really adds a fantastic flavor to stews or chili too. Soeren's sandwiches for school are spread with the pesto too, adding a slice of goat cheese and baby spinach leaves, his gourmet sandwich is complete. Tom personally loves this as a dip - carrots, kohlrabi and other vegetables are enjoyed raw with the sun dried pesto as the perfect partner.

I am so looking forward to this month's Hay Hay it’s Donna Day! One of my favorite blogger friends, Joey of 80 Breakfasts is the amiable host and her chosen theme Pesto got me really excited. This is my humble contribution to Joey's event.

You might like these pesto and sauces from WFLH:

 DSC_0074.1 Pizza Sauce 01 framed BatataVada05a framed
Aglio Olio Roasted Tomato Sauce Sun-dried Tomato and Tamarind Chutney

From around the blogs:


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All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2008 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. That looks wonderful--not too heavy at this time of year! I don't think I've ever tried purple basil (at least, never seen it in leaf form) so would love to give it a try. Your photos are just stunning, of course! (And thanks for the link--much appreciated!) :)

  2. wow you surely are a fan of pesto :) I have only made the normal basil pesto which I really love. But this looks interesting too and I have homemde sun dried tomatoes so I ll give it a go :)your photos are so nice :)

  3. Delicious! Excited to see you have joined us for HHDD too, thanks heaps!

  4. Ever since I started making slow-roasted tomatoes and stashing them in my freezer every summer, I've been making pestos like this one in the winter for a burst of summery flavor. Love the use of purple basil here!

  5. This looks wonderful. what a beautiful color! I love anything sundried tomatoes.

  6. With purple basil, how interesting. Sundried tomatoes make the best pesto.

  7. I agree, these festivities can take it's toll on the waistline. This meal is packed with flavor and not calories and that makes this a fantastic recipe.Thx for sharing!

  8. oh .. I agree so much with you on the festive weight gain ..
    My hubby lets me keep just one weigh scale that doesnot show weight more that 18 kgs ! ... he says its the perfect way to eat without worry ...hehehe

    But I love the pesto .. the deep color looks too good ..

  9. Don't worry about that extra kilo, Meeta - you're stunning!! :-)

    Lovely pesto!!

  10. I'm having the same problems! It's all about food this month!
    I'm trying to do everything possible with filo pastry!(it's so low in fat)but I too have hidden the scales!
    Love the pesto!

  11. Hi Meeta!

    Everybody lose the battle of weight these many delicious meals!!
    I like a lot this recipe...I'm big fan of pesto and sun dried tomatoes ;)

    * Dear Meeta I've an award waiting for you at my blog..please stop by when you get a chance :)

    Gera .:. sweetsfoods

  12. I've always shied away from cooking with purple basil but you've redeemed it's use here...I'm converted.

  13. Wow, it looks fab. his is no time for a weighing scale though. Feast now, famine later!

  14. I can understand why you double the recipe! Absolutely gorgeous. I will try this for sure.

  15. Hi meeta,

    I love pesto!!!!never knew You could make one with sun dried tomatoes. Did i tell you i just loved your header for winter!!!!!its simple, elegant and just plain gorgeous!


  16. Hi, lovely colour, and awesome pesto. I just had a look at the green coloured one at JB yesterday. Definitely a great combo with different foods:-)

  17. Thanks so much for taking part in this round of HHDD Meeta! And with such a vibrant and delicious pesto! I know exactly what you mean about the holidays and the jeans revolting! ;)

  18. This sounds rich and delicious, and I can see how it could be a great addition to a stew. I love that photo of the purple basil on the table.

  19. I love pesto although I don't think I've ever had a sun-dried tomato based one (only the "simple" mix of the usual suspects). It sounds like a delicious idea I need to try!

  20. Meeta, I loved your contribution.Fabulous ingredients. I will be experimenting it. I have just started my holiday and one of the things that i really want to do is to cook more again.and bake. this pesto is on my list.

  21. Humble . . . I say this is stellar Meeta.
    Sadly my purple basil is gone for the winter but while it flourished it was heaven. Pesto has got to be one of the most useful things to have in the kitchen, I simply love it as you do.

  22. Thanks so much for all your comments. This really is a great alternative to the usual pestos. I am sure you will love the tangy flavor together with the purple basil.

    VG - you make me feel so good! ;-)

    Hugs to all!

  23. That pesto looks so rich and tasty! I am going to have to look for some purple basil.

  24. Purple basil- very interesting! I so wish I could lay my hands on some here. The pesto sounds wonderful.

  25. Congratulations Meeta. A wonderful take on pesto.

  26. Congratulations on winning. All the dark colors and flavors makes this a recipe well worth trying, both for the taste and the look.


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