Monday, January 6, 2014

Roasted Tomato and Almond Pesto

The lentil soup recipe I was using Friday night did not necessarily need anything else. It comes from Diamond Jim Moran, friend of Huey P. Long's and the party deemed responsible for bringing slot machines to New Orleans. Supposedly when he passed, the boxer Rocky Marciano lamented both the loss of the man and the loss of his legendary lentil soup.

But I couldn't resist an addition to make it my own. Tomatoes quartered, drizzled in balsamic, and roasted. Toasted almonds. Fresh basil chiffonade. All processed together and then swirled among the noodles and legumes of Diamond Jim's soup. It certainly didn't hurt.

You can find the lentil soup recipe here. I must champion its assets as a cold-weather lunch. It will warm you to the core.

And now for its full-flavored companion:

Roasted Tomato and Almond Pesto (adapted from Eating Well)
Makes 1 1/2 cups

4 vine-ripe tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil & 1/4 cup olive oil, separated
1/4 cup almonds, toasted
1/2 cup basil leaves, cut chiffonade style
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated


1. Preheat oven to 400. Place tomatoes on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Toss in balsamic and two tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for one hour, tossing halfway through.
2. In food processor, combine roasted tomatoes, almonds, basil, red wine vinegar, and cheese. Add remaining olive oil in a steady stream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.