Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes with Tuna & Spinach Pesto
I love pesto but have only been able to make it once from scratch because I usually can't get enough fresh basil leaves. The 'pesto' you see in the photograph isn't really pesto. It's made with a similar technique but with different ingredients. I wasn't sure how good it would be but the handful of fresh basil leaves I added at the very end seemed to bring it all together and it turned out to be quite delicious.
So long as your children don't have an aversion to 'green food', this is a great way to hide spinach as they won't taste it. The trick is to put enough garlic, parmesan cheese and basil leaves to mask the flavor.
Natural ingredients vary so trust your own tongue and add a little more of whatever you think is necessary as you make this. The recipe isn't that fussy so long as the nuts are ground down properly, so if you feel you need to add a little more parmesan cheese, garlic or basil leaves, go ahead and do it.
Makes approximately 1 Cup
2 Cups Fresh Spinach Leaves
A Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves
1/3 Cup Marcona Almonds*
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1/2 Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-3 Garlic Cloves
Salt & Black Pepper to taste
Step 1: Pulverize the marcona almonds first and then add the spinach, basil, garlic, parmesan cheese and pulse.
Step 2: Add the olive oil, salt and pepper and pulse. Add more oil, salt & pepper if necessary.
Basically, even though more precise directions are given in making pesto normally, you can just throw everything in and let the food processor do its job. The only thing I was careful about was making sure the almonds were pulverized properly because you don't want bits of almonds ruining the texture.
So now you've got your Spinach Pesto ready but what is that tomato?
Roasted Stuffed Tomato with Tuna & Fresh Spinach Pesto
4 Medium Sized Tomatoes
1 Can Tuna (80g)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Step 1: Slice the tops of the tomatoes and use a spoon to remove everything inside. Set the contents inside a bowl.
Step 2: Mix the tuna with the tomatoes and season this with salt, black pepper and extra virgin olive oil.
Step 3: Stuff the tomatoes and top them with the mixture in the bowl, top them off with emmental cheese, and bake in a preheated oven at 200C for about 30 minutes or until the cheese on top is nice and golden.
Step 4: Put a generous mound of the spinach pesto on top and garnish with a sprig of fresh basil.
*Use pine nuts if this is an option. Pesto should be made with pine nuts, but although I can buy Marcona almonds easily in Spain, pine nuts are very expensive and not of very good quality usually.