Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

August/September 2005

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In the '70s, with the advent of New American cooking, sun-dried tomato pesto became something of a cliché-and was summarily forgotten on the culinary landscape. It's well worth a revival, especially when you cut down the fat and add a little vinegar for a nice spike.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Makes: About 1 cup

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Total Time:


  • 2 heads garlic
  • 12 sun-dried tomato halves, (2 ounces) (see Note)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
  • 2 teaspoons packed fresh oregano leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Slice the top quarter off each head of garlic, exposing the inner cloves. Wrap in foil and roast until soft, about 45 minutes. Open the foil packet and let stand until cool enough to handle.
  3. Meanwhile, place sun-dried tomatoes in a medium bowl. Cover with boiling water and let soak until soft, about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to a food processor or large blender. Add 6 tablespoons of the soaking liquid, cheese, oregano, oil, vinegar, red pepper and salt. Squeeze in the roasted garlic. Pulse a few times, then process until smooth, or to the desired consistency, scraping down the sides occasionally.

Tips & Notes

  • Note: Buy dry sun-dried tomatoes, usually found in the produce section, not the ones jarred in oil. Look for soft, pliable wedges: avoid those that are desiccated, brittle or tarnished brown.


Per 2-tablespoon serving: 60 calories; 4 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 2 mg cholesterol; 5 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 1 g fiber; 159 mg sodium; 142 mg potassium.

Exchanges: 1/2 vegetable, 1 fat

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August/September 2005
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