This recipe might seem like it is coming from left field... but trust me when I say that when you put this sun-dried tomato pesto on anything (pizza, pasta, roasted vegetables, sandwiches) your toddler (and you) will magically eat it up.
It's my secret sauce.
Well, it's actually a pesto, but you get my drift.. mmmmkay.
My 5 ingredient secret pesto! It can be made year round and in under 10 minutes. So while you are frantically pacing around your kitchen trying to find something to make for dinner, this pesto will be there for you.
It all started when I needed to bring a pasta salad to my friend Hilary's house party <-------- and by house party I mean a family party starting at 5pm and where the kiddos almmmmoooooosttt outnumbered the adults!
I was going to do a caprese pesto pasta salad but after realizing that I had killed, yet again, another basil plant, I pulled out a package of sun-dried tomatoes from the pantry and decided that I would try out a sun-dried tomato pasta salad with ziti pasta, sliced black olives, chopped artichokes, feta and finely chopped spinach.
Holy-moly.... you guys, it was a hit.
Not only with the parents, but also with the kids!
They ate it up - every bite size piece of yumminess was eaten with happy faces.
Ways to enjoy this pesto -
- In a pasta salad - mix entire batch of pesto with 1 bag pasta of choice, sliced black olives, artichokes, cooked cubed chicken, feta and finely sliced spinach. Serve cold.
- Made into hummus - recipe coming soon (!!!)
- Used in a fancy grilled cheese - take 2 slices of bread. On the outside of each piece spread a thin layer of butter, on the inside of each piece spread a thick layer of pesto, fill with slices of montery jack, gouda, cooked chicken or turkey slices, bacon and spinach. Heat in a panini press or in a medium skillet until the cheese is melted and gooey - 4 minutes on each side.
- Use as a glaze for chicken - grill or cook chicken. When you have 2 minutes remaining on your cooking time, brush the pesto over and cook for 2 more minutes.
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes*
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried or 1 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup parmesan chees
1/2 -1 cup olive oil
1- In a food processor, add the sun-sired tomatoes, garlic, basil and parmesan, pulse until just incorporated.
2- Turn machine on and drizzle in the olive oil, I used roughly 3/4 cup for my recipe but would add a little more if I was making a pasta salad with it) scraping down sides every 15 seconds or so until you have the right pesto consistency.
* If using sun-dried tomatoes from a bag, you will need to let them soak in super hot water for 15-20 minutes. If using sun-dried tomatoes from a jar, you can drain them (using the oil from the jar in this recipe or another recipe if you wish) and use right away. I used the bag sun-dried tomatoes for my recipe.
Yields - roughly 2 cups
Storage - will last 4 days in fridge or 2 months in freezer