This recipe is a true essential. Having ready-to-go sauces, dips, and marinades stored in the fridge makes cooking so much quicker because you’re always a step ahead. My friends often remark how amazing it is that I can whip up delicious finger foods and treats in no time when they pop by for a visit. I can’t emphasize enough how easy it is to put together a beautiful platter using ingredients that you already have at home when the showstopper items (like this pesto) are ready and waiting.
Makes one 10 fl oz (300 ml) jar
12 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained (oil reserved, if desired)
1 cup (30 g) fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1 chile, stemmed and seeded (optional)
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil or reserved sun-dried tomato oil
Place the tomatoes, basil, garlic, and chile (if using) in the workbowl of a food processor (a mini food processor works well) and blitz until chopped finely. Add the vinegar, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper, and blitz again until paste is formed. Transfer the paste to a glass jar and stir in the oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
Make-Ahead Tip: Red pesto can be stored in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Can I Freeze It?: Pesto freezes well. I recommend freezing in 1-tsp portions in an ice-cube tray (reserved for savory purposes). Once frozen, store the cubes in a lock-top plastic freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter.