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Sun-Dried Tomato Walnut Pesto Recipe


Sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, and basil are blended into a delightfully different pesto used as a dip or pasta topper. The pesto may be made up to 3 days ahead.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 1-1/2 ounces sun-dried tomato halves
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1-1/2 loosely packed cups coarsely chopped basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup (about 2-1/2 ounces) walnut pieces, toasted
  • 5 Tablespoons cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian red chile paste, optional
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


In a medium-sized heat-proof bowl, combine the sun-dried tomatoes and boiling water. Let stand until the tomatoes are plump and fairly tender, about 15 minutes. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the tomato soaking water, then drain the tomatoes and chop them coarsely.

In a food processor, combine the tomatoes, basil, walnuts, olive oil, reserved tomato water, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, garlic, chile paste, a generous grinding of pepper, and salt.

Process in short bursts of power, stopping several times to scrape down the sides of the work bowl. The mixture should be evenly chopped but chunky. The pesto can be prepared up to 3 days ahead; cover and refrigerate, returning it to room temperature before using.

Serve over pasta or as an appetizer dip or spread.

Yield: 2 cups

Recipe Source: Pamela Morgan's Flavors by Pamela Morgan (Viking Press)
Reprinted with permission.

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