Sun-dried tomatoes have one of the best flavors out there. They’re rich, hearty, and savory, and are a must for any Italian dish. Let me tell you, they definitely made this pesto extraordinary.
I wanted to create a dish that would thrill the taste-buds, but still be light and give me a veggie boost. This turned out exactly as I wanted it to, and is incredibly nourishing to boot. The tomatoes bring plenty of vitamin C and lycopene to the table, which help protect against heart disease and cancer (especially prostate cancer, fellas!), and also keep your eyes healthy, by protecting against macular-degeneration.
While the flavor in this recipe might come from the tomatoes, the base of this pesto is actually chard. Chard contains at least 13 different antioxidant compounds, and has a phytochemical, called syringic acid, which helps to regulate blood sugar by slowing down the breakdown of carbohydrates. It’s also a dark leafy green, which means it’s brimming with good stuff like chlorophyll, vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, and iron.
This recipe also has a bit of an omega-3 boost, in the form of walnuts. Omega-3 fatty acids get a ton of press, because they’re beneficial for your heart, brain, skin, joints, and numerous other parts of your body. I’m not typically a huge walnut fan, but they are virtually undetectable in this pesto, except to add a slight, pleasant crunch factor.
Everything combined makes for a darn good, nutritious dish.
(makes 2 servings)
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (soaked, if not packaged in oil)
- 1 cup packed chard (I used kaleidoscope chard from Trader Joe’s, but any will do)
- 1/4 cup raw walnuts
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T nutritional yeast
- 2 T olive oil
- sea salt and pepper to taste
1. Add all ingredients to a food processor. Run the processor until the ingredients form a slightly lumpy paste.
2. If serving with pasta, add pasta and pesto to a large bowl and toss until the pasta is well coated, garnish with a sprig of parsley or basil, and serve.
This pesto would also be great as a spread on crostini or crackers, in a sandwich, as pizza sauce, or even as a veggie dip.
Are you a fan of sun-dried tomatoes? What is your favorite use for them?