Health

Roasted tomato basil pesto from Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows

Hello Chatelaine readers! I'm Angela Liddon from Oh She Glows and Green Monster Movement where I share my life, favourite vegan recipes, photography, and musings on body-image and self-love.

Angela Liddon

Hello Chatelaine readers! I’m Angela Liddon from Oh She Glows and Green Monster Movement where I share my life, favourite vegan recipes, photography, and musings on body-image and self-love. My work has been featured in magazines such as O, Fitness, Self, Veg News, Chatelaine, Glamour, Glow, and Best Health. I’m also proud to be one of Chatelaine‘s Women of the Year for 2011 as one of Canada’s Hot 20 Under 30, and I was recently selected as Best Health Magazine’s Favourite “Eat Well” Blogger.

As someone who formerly struggled with an eating disorder, I love to share how I’ve built a positive relationship with food and rediscovered a passion for cooking and baking. There are many stereotypes about a vegan diet and it’s one of my greatest pleasures when I can show others that an animal-free diet is anything but bland or boring. I’m thrilled to be able to share some of my all-time favourite recipes here on Chatelaine‘s Health and Wellness blog. I’d love to hear from you too. If you have any recipes you’d like to see on the blog, please let me know in the comments!

This Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto breaks all the common stereotypes about traditional oil-heavy pesto recipes. There’s no reason to worry about your waistline when making this pesto, with 50-75 percent less oil than traditional recipes. Now you can have your pesto and eat it too!

The secret to this delicious pesto is the slow-roasted Roma tomatoes, resulting in a deep and rustic tomato flavor. The roasted tomatoes also lend body, replacing the need for a lot of oil. Lightly toasted almonds, left a bit chunky, give this pesto a great texture and nutty flavor. Upon first bite, you will see why this is my all-time favourite pesto recipe on Oh She Glows.

Mix this pesto into fresh pasta, spread it on crostini, spoon it over soup, or layer it on your (new) favourite sandwich. We’ve also been known to eat it straight from the bowl, but that can be our little secret.

Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto from ohsheglows.com

Yield: 1 cup pesto

Ingredients:
9 large roma tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1/2 cup almonds, toasted
2 garlic cloves
1 cup tightly packed basil + more for garnish
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling on tomatoes
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Your desired amount of cooked pasta

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place sliced tomatoes on the sheet and drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about one hour and 10 mins at 400F. Watch closely during the last 15 minutes of roasting.

2. Reduce heat to 325F and toast almonds for eight to 10 minutes. Add 1/3 cup almonds into food processor and process until chopped and chunky. Remove almonds from processor and set aside.

3. With processor turned on, add two garlic cloves and let it whirl around until finely chopped. Now add in the basil and process until finely chopped. Stop and scrape down the bowl as necessary.

4. Add in the oil, optional nutritional yeast, and 1.5 cups of roasted tomatoes (you will have tomatoes left over to mix into pasta). Process until smooth. Pulse in 1/3 cup toasted almonds. Season generously with salt and pepper. I think I used about 1/2 tsp salt or a bit more.

5. Pour your desired amount of pesto over the cooked pasta and mix well. Chop the remaining roasted tomatoes and stir into pasta. Chop remaining almonds and Chiffonade the basil (see this post for a how-to).

Angela Liddon is the creator of Oh She Glows, a popular healthy vegan recipe website receiving over 1.6 million page views a month, and one of Chatelaine‘s Women of the Year 2011. Angela’s passion for healthy vegan food is contagious and she’s eager to show others that vegan (and often gluten-free) food can blow your taste buds away.