Believe it or not, there IS a pesto NOT made from greens and garlic. Crazy, I know.
Traditional basil pesto is a popular Italian sauce typically made with basil, hard salty cheeses, olive oil, garlic, and pine nuts. This green basil-based pesto many of us know and love, Pesto alla Genovese, originates from the Liguria region of coastal northwestern Italy. Pesto alla Siciliana, the inspiration of this gluten-free summer pesto, hails from southern Italy and consists of tomatoes and mint instead of basil.
Seeded Roma tomatoes (no one wants a watery, soupy pesto!), fresh mint, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and Pecorino Romano cheese form the base of this thick summery sauce. All you do is pile the ingredients into a bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse until combined and smooth. So quick, so easy, so simple, but so full of robust flavors.
You can customize this fresh, tomato-mint pesto to your liking. Instead of walnuts, you can use pine nuts, almond, or even go nut-free. Instead of Pecorino Romano, you can use Parmesan or even go dairy-free. Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to your desired heat preference.
This tomato-mint pesto is incredibly versatile. Pour over a drained pot of gluten-free linguine and toss with cooked shrimp for a healthy, delicious pasta dish. Add spoonfuls of this pesto over top salads. Serve as a hearty dip for sliced veggies or pieces of gluten-free bread. Instead of mayo or hummus, slather this pesto over a gluten-free sandwich for an ultimate summertime lunch. The options are really endless, but the bowl is not. Double batch…at least!
- 5 large Roma tomatoes (seeded)
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves (packed)
- 1/2 cup walnuts (crushed)
- 2 cloves garlic (peeled)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (fresh)
- 2 tbsp olive oil (extra-virgin)
- 3 tbsp Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until ingredients come together and a sauce-like consistency forms. (Alternatively, you can use a blender).
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Use immediately over fresh gluten-free pasta, grilled veggies, or atop grilled fish - or chill in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Reminder: Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans and tools are free of gluten.Always read product labels - not all brands are created equal.
Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.