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Sundried tomato & basil pesto

Sep 10, 2021 | Accompaniments, Extras

Hey pesto!
The weather is changing and with it, the way we eat – more salads, lighter meals and food for the outdoors. The abundance of fresh produce that spring and early summer brings encourages us to enjoy it to the fullest. Having a few accompaniments in the fridge to whip up some snacks before a meal with friends or a quick, easy and yet flavourful supper, is something we all need. This homemade tomato pesto is one of my favourites. The combination of marinated sundried tomatoes, toasted nuts and lots of fresh basil is indeed moreish. It’s quick to prepare and, unless you can’t help but use it every day, it will last a few weeks in the fridge.

So versatile!
This tomato pesto is so versatile. Spread it on sandwiches (braaibroodjies) or toast, dollop on scrambled eggs for a delicious breakfast and the options for sides, salads and suppers are plenty. Spread pesto on chicken breast fillets or under the skin of chicken thighs and roast in the oven. Toss the pesto through baby potatoes in the skin or chickpeas, add some crumbled feta and serve with rocket and fresh basil as a side dish. Spoonsful on a simple salad of lettuce leaves, steamed broccoli and feta is delightful or turn it into a light meal by adding some tuna. Spoon it onto a baked jacket sweet potato. Add avo to any of these options as the perfect partner. We had it on pasta with broccoli, bacon and pecorino shavings – a huge hit with my family. So spread it, spoon it, stir it in and enjoy!


Sundried tomato & basil pesto
Sundried tomato & basil pesto


Sundried tomato & basil pesto

Makes about 300 ml pesto


50 g flaked almonds or sunflower seeds

1 x 240 g sachet marinated sundried tomatoes, with the liquid

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

50 medium basil leaves, roughly torn

125 ml (½ cup) olive or avocado oil

salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and toast the almonds or sunflower seeds until golden brown and toasted. No oil is needed, but take care not to burn them.

2. Place nuts or seeds with the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and blend to form a smooth mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Store in sterilised jars and pour a thin layer of oil on top of the pesto. The pesto can keep for up to 3 weeks in the fridge. Enjoy on bruschettas, savoury biscuits, a sandwich, tossed into warm pasta or couscous or any of the ideas mentioned above.



1. A sachet of marinated sundried tomatoes is convenient, but it’s not difficult to marinate sundried tomatoes at home. Soak dried tomatoes in a little warm Rooibos tea until soft and marinate in a mixture of two-thirds olive oil to one-third balsamic vinegar, a bit of honey and a few sprigs of fresh thyme.

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