Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pesto, Pizza and Oven Dried Cherry Tomatoes

 The Baker and I took a spring trip this year.  It was right at the time I usually purchase herbs and flowers and get a start on the summer garden.  I knew there would still be plenty of flowering plants when we returned but was a bit worried about the herbs.  With that concern in mind, I asked a friend if she'd pick up some parsley, sage, rosemary and basil and take care of them until we returned.  As it turns out, Diana did a great job and our herb garden is a showcase of culinary possibilities.

Time to "put up" pesto for winter dining!


4 cups of basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup walnuts

Place the garlic cloves in a food process and rough chop.  Add the basil and walnuts.  Turn the processor on and slowly drizzles in the olive oil.  I don't add salt, pepper or cheese if I'm planning to freeze the pesto.  The cheese will cause the sauce to separate when defrosted.

I found these Ball freezer "jars" a few years ago.  They come in three sizes and are perfect for putting up frozen foods.

Sue over at The View from the Great Island posted a recipe for oven drying cherry tomatoes.  I filled my market bag with the little gems at the Saturday market and followed her simple roasting instructions.  Simply halve the tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.  Spread out, cut sides up, on a parchment lined baking pan and roast in a 200 degree oven for about four hours.  The roasted tomatoes can be stored in a jar in the refrigerator (I covered mine with olive oil) or frozen.

Monday offered no leftovers from Sunday and I'd had a busy day.  With those tomatoes upmost in my mind, I pulled together ....

...a Naan Pizza.

Naan (or a small round of pizza dough)
Oven dried cherry tomatoes
Sliced fresh mozzarella

1.  Brush the dough with a bit of the olive oil from the tomatoes.
2.  Spread about a tablespoon of the pesto over the dough.
3.  Top with about three thin slices of the mozzarella.
4.  Sprinkle with the roasted tomatoes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

5.  Bake until the cheese melts--about fifteen minutes.