This is another recipe adapted from one I found in Bon Appetite (November 2015). The original recipe called for cherry tomatoes and quite a bit more than I use here. I wanted more almond, less tomato to come through in the final product. This pesto was intended to be a dressing on blistered green beans. We tried that and it was fine but I thought it was better as a dip for crudites (I kept sampling it with the raw green beans before I cooked them) so I present it here as a dip but feel free to use it however you think will be tasty.
2 medium sized tomatoes (I used Kumato Brown Tomatoes because they’re the best available in Green Bay at this time of year), seeded and cored, and cut into 1/2″ pieces.
1/4 C. roasted, unsalted almonds
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. Sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
1 tsp. sweet paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper
Cut about 1/4″ off both ends of the tomatoes. Remove the core and the jelly/seed part. Cut the tomato flesh from the walls and ends into 1/2″ pieces.
Place the tomato pieces into a cold nonstick saute pan and put on medium-low heat. Leave the tomatoes to heat; they will release much of their water and gradually turn soft. DO NOT vigorously stir. You want to leave the cooked tomato in recognizable pieces. Set aside to cool completely.
Grind the almonds in a food processor or blender to a fine chop or coarse meal consistency. Finely mince the garlic.
Add half of the cooled tomatoes, all the almonds, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, paprika and cayenne (if using) to a mixing bowl. Stir to combine well and mash the tomatoes somewhat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Put in the remaining half of the tomatoes and stir gently, trying to keep the tomato pieces somewhat whole.
Serve as a dip for raw or lightly cooked vegetables; as a sauce for grilled meat; or as a spread on thin slices of crusty bread.
This can be made up to several hours in advance. It may store well in the refrigerator but I’ve never had any left over to find out.
Smoked paprika might be an interesting substitution for the sweet paprika. I’ll update you on that if I try it. In the meantime stay tuned for more “nutty” recipes.