top of page

Sicilian pesto with roasted cherry tomatoes and almonds

The pesto that most of us are familiar with is the Genovese pesto with a pine nut and basil base. Pesto alla trapanese is the version made in the Sicilian city of Trapani. Slivered almonds and roasted cherry tomatoes help make this Sicilian pesto so delicious. It is now June and the local heirloom cherry tomatoes are sweeter than candy.

heirloom cherry tomatoes in Charleston, SC

Roasting the tomatoes with lemon, Olinda olive oil, basil and garlic brings out their gorgeous flavor. Eating a few cherry tomatoes here and there while cooking is encouraged, as they are exceptional before they are cooked, too.

roasted heirloom cherry tomatoes in Charleston, SC

Roasting the cherry tomatoes is totally optional, and if you are in a pinch, you may skip that step all together. Traditionally, the Sicilians use raw tomatoes and utilize a mortar and pestle to make the pesto. The color of the pesto will be brighter and will have a different flavor all together. You can try it both ways and see what you prefer! I use a food processor in this recipe.

heirloom cherry tomatoes in Charleston, SC

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 cup packed basil leaves, plus a few leaves for roasting

Zest of 1 lemon

3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

Kosher salt, to taste

1/4 cup olive oil, more if using the tomatoes raw, preferably Olinda olive oil, plus more for drizzling the tomatoes, if roasting

1/2 cup slivered almonds

Freshly cracked black pepper

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Arrange the cherry tomatoes in a single layer with a few basil halves, all of the garlic, lemon zest and pinch of salt. Shimmy the tomatoes and garlic around in the olive oil to ensure that they are thoroughly coated. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes until the tomatoes are slightly blistered, but while making sure that the garlic does not burn. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. In the food processor, process the almonds and basil until chopped. Add tomatoes, garlic, up to 2 tablespoons of the tomato juices and olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Remove pesto to a bowl and fold in parmesan.


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page