Vegan Roasted Tomato Pesto & Farming the Yard Part Two

Around April every year, my little tubs of roasted tomato pesto which have been in the freezer since the big push of the previous summer, have dwindled to memories of delicious dinners. Once you’ve made this intensely tomatoey-basily-garlicy red sauce, you’ll understand. One good thing though about this recipe, in desperate times, (no home grown tomatoes) a little basket of store bought cherry tomatoes will suffice.

But, nothing can compare to what’s been walked in from the garden. And a big thank you to Lidia’s Family Table PBS where I learned how to make this outstanding dish.

Roasted Tomato Ingredients

Serves 4 Adults

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme

Roasting Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven 400 degrees.
  2. On a well oiled baking sheet spread the tomatoes.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil over all.
  4. With garlic press, spread the mince garlic over all.
  5. Top with the fresh thyme.
  6. Roast for 15 minutes, then shake and turn tomatoes, cook 15 minutes more.

Roasted Tomato Pesto Ingredients

  • 4 cups of the roasted tomatoes
  • 5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • ½ cup pinon nuts, almonds or walnuts
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup dairy-free parmesan
  • 1 tsp. Salt

Roasted Tomato Pesto Recipe

  1. In a blender or food processor, pour all of the above.
  2. Blend until you have a thick sauce.
  3. Serve over pasta, polenta, or as the base for a pizza.
  4. Make sure you have a really crusty artisan bread for dipping.

Farming the Yard Part Two

For some crazy reason, 

We planted yellow pear tomatoes, the bush has to be 6ft and loaded. The little red cherry ones are just starting to turn. Rick’s row of cinnamon basil along with the Italian Genovese is doing just what it’s supposed to; flourishing. On Saturday when I made my first pesto of the year, I combined the two basils, and used the yellow tomatoes. Feeling a bit skeptical, because it wasn’t red (duh), as I dipped my spoon in for a taste, I was surprised by the creaminess and the subtle nuance of the cinnamon basil. We “put up” as the old timers would say, 6 tubs in the freezer. For you, I pared down the recipe for a single dinner, with probably some leftovers.

I made the mistake the other day,

and went to the store during its busiest time of the day. With a full basket and standing a safe six feet distance away from other shoppers, I found myself next to the magazines. People Magazine called out to me with the cover picture of the Broadway star Nick Cordero who sadly succumbed to Covid-19 leaving behind his wife and baby. A month ago I had never heard of him. I can’t imagine…. But what I did buy was a Mother Earth News Magazine, because in this month’s issue an article jumped off the page at me; Easy Long Term Storage for Zucchini; totally worth $5.99 🙂

Next year, 

I think we’ll just plant two zucchini and one yellow crookneck, instead of the four of each he planted this year. We’ll plant the same amount of spaghetti squash and my precious saint delicata squash, because we can store in a cool place. I ran the idea of digging a root cellar by Rick who acted like he didn’t hear me as he headed out the door. This following my suggestion of building an outhouse for the composting toilet I just read about in Mother Earth News. Short of bringing back patchouli, burning my bra and building my own bong with an apple; I’m going back 🙂 BTW the magazine is in its 50th Year! I copied this quote from its founder. I was heartened after reading this quote by the environmental progress made since the 70’s.

One of the most persuasive voices in those days was that of John Shuttleworth, who, with his wife, Jane, had started the magazine on a shoestring” in 1970. In March 1975 he wrote: “For at least 20 years now, I’ve been getting an increasingly uncomfortable suspicion that all the major nations of the world—capitalist and communist—suffer from the narrow delusion that only people, and people alone, have any rights on this planet. Further, that human wants, needs, and desires—seemingly the more capricious the better—should be instantly gratified. And further still, that this can always be done in a strictly economic frame of reference.

“In short, I think that we live in an unbelievably marvelous Garden of Eden. Surrounded by miraculous life-forms almost without number. Kept alive by a mysteriously interwoven, self-replenishing support system that, with all our scientific ‘breakthroughs,’ we still do not understand.

“And yet, as favored as we are by all this real wealth, we somehow perversely prefer to spend almost all waking hours interpreting the sum total of this reality in terms of the narrow and distorted, strictly human-centered concept of money.” – Wikipedia

What did I get for $5.99? 

I learned how to prepare all that zucchini and yellow crookneck for freezing. I can’t tell you how many times during winter months I had to run to the store, and buy a couple squash for my Tuscan Bean Soup and Curried Vegetables. Now I have seven bags of the stuff in my freezer. Plus, neatly shredded and bagged zucchini for Fritters and bread. Yay! And I might add, it’s only July 28th! I’ve got the rest of the summer to go.

I’ll save you six bucks and share for free how to freeze all those damn, I mean wonderful zucchini.

“To freeze zucchini in chunks. I quarter it, and then slice it about ⅓ inch thick. I blanched the pieces in boiling water for 1 minute to set the color and texture. Next, I quickly cool them in ice water, drain, and dry on a thick towel. I work in 6-cup batches, which is what fits into a 1 quart bag. The shredded zucchini doesn’t get blanched.”  -Mother Earth News

I’ll leave you with a zucchini bread recipe, 

(btw, before cookingforyoumylove.com I don’t think I ever wrote the word zucchini..)  I tweaked the recipe I found on mydarlingvegan.com (is that the cutest name or what).. by replacing the sugar with Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener combined with Now Real Food Date Sugar. Unfortunately, we ate without taking pictures, dang it. 🙁  I think this bread would take a blue ribbon in the State Fair, that’s how good it is.

Clio’s Zucchini Bread Ingredients

Serves 10

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Bake Time: 45 minutes

Preheat oven 350

  • ½ cup monkfruit sweetener
  • ⅓ cup date sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp. cardamom
  • 1 heaping cup of shredded zucchini (1 medium size)
  • ½ cup walnuts

Clio’s Zucchini Bread Recipe

  1. Preheat oven 350. Spray an 8×4 loaf pan with oil (I used coconut).
  2. Shred zucchini. Using a towel or cheesecloth, squeeze any excess liquid out of zucchini and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together sugars with applesauce, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir to combine.
  4. Transfer batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-65 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  5. Let cool for a minute before transferring to the wire cooking rack. Cool completely.

Until next week, when cookingforyoumylove will be harvesting our grapes and brewing our first batch of Pinot Noir varietal grape juice. 

Ciao 🙂

  1. Can’t wait to make the roasted tomato pesto using the tomatoes that I’ll harvest from YOUR garden ;-).
    Always love your articles and recipes, Clio! You are the beeeeeez kneeeez!

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