Sun Dried Tomato & Basil Almond Pesto

First of all, is there anything more wonderful than opening up a too full and extremely disorganized fridge and being greeted by a bouquet of fresh mint? It’s a beautiful sight. And one that will (hopefully!) translate into an awesome baking project this weekend. I’m feeling my kitchen groove come back. But you’ll have to hold for the results until next Tuesday!

Another wonderful and inspiring thing in my life, person, actually, is one of the farmers at the Emory local farmers market. I can’t remember his name, or the farm’s name, but let’s just say that he made my week. I’ve been showing up to his stand every week for the past month or so buying basil and zucchini (pretty much all he’s had), but this week when I stopped by it was with a heavy heart. I had only $1 to my pre-paycheck name and no funds to pull out cash from the ATM. Not only did I only have $1, but he had a luscious spread of herbs, tomatoes, zucchinis, peppers, and something else I’m forgetting. It was a tragedy. But, smiling, I asked him for as much basil as $1 could buy. While opening a little paper bag he asked me to try a cherry tomato. Did I like it? Yes? “Here, I’ll throw a few in. Oh, do you like oregano? I’ll give you some of that too.” At my protests he simply shrugged his shoulders, saying “you’re a regular.” Elated, thrilled, joyful–none of these words really describe how wonderful the transaction was. A stranger giving away food because that’s what you do in a community-based society–you help each other out. Needless to say I’m going to bake him up something super nice to give him next Tuesday as a thank you. BUT this is all to say: GO OUT AND SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FARMERS. Not simply because they’re nice and friendly and will give you free food when you’re out of luck before your paycheck, but because by supporting them you’re supporting a community, and by supporting the community you’re ensuring the well-being of not only yourself but the people you know enough about to care about and countless others that you don’t know about and don’t know enough to care about.

Ok, so, the recipe. Again, it’s a simple farmers market dinner of basil, cherry tomatoes, and zucchini mixed with my pantry staples–fusilli pasta, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, and almonds. But it’s delicious and filling, which is all I can really ask for. You can use any nut, of course–pine nuts, pecans, walnuts, cashews–whatever you have on hand: that’s the beauty of pesto!

Sun Dried Tomato & Basil Almond Pesto

1 c fresh basil
1/4 c sun dried tomatoes, soaked in water for 10 minutes if dried
1/4 c almond slivers
1/3-1/2 c olive oil (depends on how well the sun dried tomatoes incorporate to the basil and almonds)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt

Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor until well combined. It will be slightly chunky, but well mixed. Add more oil as necessary (I found that adding oil to each serving size helped the pesto cover the vegetables and pasta).

Serve with pasta and fresh, seasonal vegetables.

16 Responses to “Sun Dried Tomato & Basil Almond Pesto”
  1. Sal says:

    Wow your local farmer man is awesome!!! the sight of that mint would make me happy too.

  2. Becky says:

    What a wonderful story!

  3. renae says:

    The pasta looks delicious, and I love stories like that.

  4. mihl says:

    What a nice farmer! And you made the best meal with his goodies.

  5. lazysmurf says:

    what a great story! I wish I had all that mint in my fridge!

  6. fortheloveofguava says:

    Mm… i love farmer’s market and feel totally bummed and like my week isn’t quite right when I miss my trip… what a great story!!! And your pasta AND fridge :) look wonderful! Do you dry your own tomatoes??? I always feel like sundried tomatoes are so expensive… I did it once myself in the oven but I burnt like half and haven’t tried since then.

  7. shellyfish says:

    That is so cool! I wish we could all be so aware and generous. I know how you feel with the one dollar thing…money has been so tight, and sometimes it’s so hard to figure out how to eat healthy on such a tight (or non-existant) budget. Thankfully rice and pasta are still cheapish.

  8. Jojo says:

    That pasta looks delicious! It’s so cool about the farmer, I’m loving Brighton’s new weekly farmers market, it’s really tiny but there is one awesome organic veg stall!

  9. Sophie says:

    wow, farmers are so nice. i love my local market. they have RASPBERRIES. it makes me (and my freezer) very happy.

    this recipe is great. i have made sun dried tomato spread and basil pesto but never combined them.

  10. veggiebelly says:

    love the pic of the basil in the fridge!

  11. jessy says:

    delicious, filling, and local – hellz yeah! that’s what i’m all about! dan & i will fo ‘sho give your basil almond pesto a try, Jes – it sounds most excellent!

    that is too awesome on the farmer! wow! so super nice! we were so excited when the csa we were on a waitlist on (for 2 years) had an opening – buying a share made us feel so good! we love the farmer’s market & our csa – local rocks the hardest & supporting local farmers rocks socks!

    can’t wait to see what you do with all the glorious mint! yay!

  12. jumbleberryjam says:

    Awesome! Can’t wait to try it!! :-) Thanks!

  13. kelly g. says:

    Am I a total sap for tearing up at this? Cuz if so, I’m as sappy as a sugar maple tree.

  14. Lisa says:

    This was delicious Jes! I added steamed asparagus too – yummy.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] on to the recipe.  After my farmer’s lovely gift last week I knew I needed to bake something to say thanks.  Given that I’m moving […]

  2. […] Check out the other pesto recipes: Basil Pecan Pesto and Sun Dried Tomato & Basil Almond Pesto. […]

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