Saturday, September 28, 2013

Red Pesto Sauce + Home-Style Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Red Pesto Sauce

Home-Style Sun-Dried Tomatoes

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Red Pesto Sauce is a multi-purpose condiment that I try to keep in the refrigerator at all times. I use it for bruschetta, pasta and rice. It is a pungent sauce bursting with the flavors of sun-dried tomatoes, fresh herbs, fragrant oil and wonderful salt-cured olives. Its robust flavor is unmistakably Italian and its complex simplicity is a delight to the palate. This sauce is an attention getter and not for the faint of heart. While I make this with a home-style version of sun-dried tomatoes, commercial versions can be used with only a slight loss of flavor. The technique for sun drying tomatoes was developed in Italy as a means of storing tomatoes for the winter. Fresh tomatoes were placed on tile roofs and dried by the blazing sun. I'm including the oven drying technique I use to make the sun-dried tomatoes for those who are curious or are as crazy as me. The pesto will keep for up to a month if refrigerated and filmed with a layer of olive oil. Here are the recipes for Red Pesto Sauce and Home-Style Sun-Dried Tomatoes.

Red Pesto Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Patricia Wells


1 packed cup fresh sun-dried tomatoes or 1 (3.5-oz.) package sun-dried tomato halves

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2/3 cup salt cured black olives

1 tablespoon fresh minced thyme leaves

2 tablespoons fresh minced rosemary leaves


Combine all ingredients in bowl of a food processor. Process until just emulsified, but still coarse and slightly chunky. Store, filmed with olive oil, in refrigerator for up to 1 month. Yield: 1 cup.

Home-Style Oven-Dried Sun-Dried Tomatoes


5 pounds Roma tomatoes

Kosher salt


1) Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

2) Trim and discard stem ends of tomatoes. Halve each tomato lengthwise. Arrange tomatoes, cut side up, side by side and crosswise on cake racks set on oven racks. Tomatoes should not touch each other. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

3) Bake until tomatoes are shriveled and feel dry, anywhere from 6 to 12 hours. The tomatoes should remain remain flexible and not be brittle. When dried, remove cake racks from oven and allow tomatoes to cool thoroughly. Store in zip-lock bags. Yield: 2 cups.

You might also enjoy these recipes:

Thai Cucumber Relish - One Perfect Bite

Watermelon and Black Bean Salsa - One Perfect Bite

Blueberry Salsa - One Perfect Bite

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