Caramelized Herb Tomato Pesto

This Caramelized Herb Tomato Pesto is very flavorful and versatile.  The caramelized tomatoes are bursting with flavor from the garlic, thyme and basil.  The cherry tomatoes and basil add a fresh quality to the mix!

Caramelized Herb Tomato Pesto This pesto is one I often bring to a potluck or picnic.  It goes with almost anything from crackers, bread, crisp or roasted vegetables.

Caramelized Herb Tomato Pesto I love a glass of a crisp cold Soave with this pesto.  It also pairs nicely with a Pinot Gris or Tempranillo.

caramelized-herb-tomato-pesto Caramelized Herb Tomato Pesto Recipe:

Approx. 2 1/2 Cups

Pesto
  • Caramelized Tomatoes – recipe below
  • 1 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Basil
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves
  • 3/4 Cup Aged Asiago Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
Tomatoes
  • 2 Large Tomatoes – 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 Clove Garlic – garlic press or finely minced
  • 3 Basil Leaves – minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt

Garnish

  • Caramelized tomatoes – pureed
  • Cherry Tomatoes – room temperature – quartered
  • Fresh Basil Leaves
Instructions:
Tomatoes

Preheat oven to 325 F

  In a bowl, mix together the garlic, thyme, basil, oil and salt.  On a large baking sheet, lay out the tomatoes in a single layer and spread the marinade over the tomatoes.

Put the baking sheet on the middle rack and bake for approximately 45-55 minutes depending on the size of the tomato, the tomatoes will start to look a little shriveled up.

 Turn oven up to 400 F for about 20 minutes to slightly caramelize the tomatoes.  Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn, although a little brown is okay.

Pesto

In a food processor or blender add everything and puree.

Variation

Double the caramelized tomatoes and reserve half to puree and top onto the pesto and top with cherry tomatoes.

Caramelized Herb Tomato Pesto Health benefits:

Tomatoes are great for the heart due to the extreme antioxidant support, niacin, folate and vitamin B6 that help the reduction of heart disease.  They are also high in vitamins A, C, K and potassium.  The choline in tomatoes helps assist the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.  It also helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.  Tomatoes are high in Lycopene the antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color.  Cooking tomatoes break down the cell walls, which helps to release the lycopene and is better absorbed by the body with a little bit of fat like olive oil.  The Zeaxanthin in them helps to filter harmful ultra-violet rays, which protect eyes from “age-related macular disease.”  They are also a powerful blood purifier and great for skin and bone health.

Fresh Basil has anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.  The herb contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A and is rich in zeaxanthin an anti-oxidant that helps protect age-related macular disease.  It has a good amount of Iron and also helps to detoxify the liver.  It contains phytochemicals that may lower cortisol, a hormone secreted when you’re stressed that causes weight gain, so add some fresh basil to you water or tea.

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