Vegan Baked Pesto Tomatoes2
I love a support act that holds its own; and this fantastic little vegetable side dish fits the bill. This is another baked tomato recipe dish inspired by my trips to Italy, and my love of “all things Italian”. I just love their stuffed vegetables and rich creamy pesto dishes. This is a healthier, dairy free incantation of a stock standard favourite. I don’t know about you, but I don’t miss the cheese at all. These little baked tomato treats are bursting with flavour and colour, and are super easy to prepare and devour. I love vegan tomato recipes, but I don’t tend to eat a lot tomatoes. But I will make an exception every once and a while and baked some tomatoes for this delicious recipe. The sweetness of the roasted tomato and the basil creates a magical burst of flavour with every bite, wrapped in a simple vegan package that looks vibrant, fresh and colourful.
This baked tomato recipe is perfect served up as an alternative to the ubiquitous garden salad at your next BBQ; or fantastic served with a grilled piece of chicken or fish for that quick, easy, healthy vegetarian or vegan dinner for the family. This simple healthy recipe is gluten free, dairy free, egg free and soy free. For an even quicker meal, you can also serve these raw without baking. It creates a dish with a different personality, but is really tasty, satisfying, and fresh. Just note that tomatoes are even more acid forming when they are cooked, if you are watching your PH levels. But then, the lycopenes are said to be more concentrated and more readily available. Oh, “You say cooked tomato, I say raw tomato”. I find striking a balance between raw and cooked solves this debate for me.
As for the nutty element, you could also use pinenuts for a richer more traditional basil pesto. But you know I am always partial to raw cashews for their lower fat content. Give this baked tomato recipe a showing and you won’t be disappointed. Let’s NOT “call the whole thing off”!
Vegan Baked Pesto Tomatoes
- 6 fresh organic tomatoes
“Nutty Pesto” Filling
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup cilantro or flat leaf parsley
- ½ cup pinenuts soaked for at least 4 hours (soaking is optional)
- ½ cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves fresh garlic chopped finely
- 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice or lemon juice – or more to taste
- 1 Tbsp Lemon Rind
- cracked pepper and Celtic sea salt to taste
- 1 Tbsp non GM soy lecithin
- Put all pesto ingredients into a food processor until mixed well.
- Add olive oil, sea salt and pepper to desired taste.
- Scoop out the flesh of the tomatoes and fill with pesto mixture.
- Drizzle with cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.
- Bake in a slow oven for 40 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped green onions, gomasio, and a drizzle of olive oil.
You could really adapt this recipe and scoop out lots of different vegetables such as peppers, mushrooms or eggplant. The sky is the limit.
I don’t know about you – but sticking my snout in the trough of pesto filled anything keeps the piggy in me happy every time!
Piggy Cooking Tips
selecting great tomatoes
Tomatoes are very hard to transport when they are ripened as they get damaged very easily. So most tomatoes are picked green and then sprayed with ethylene gas (yuk) to make them red. They are also covered with a wax coating to prolong their shelf life. To avoid this “freak fruit” try to purchase organic tomatoes from local farmers that are allowed to ripen on the vine naturally. Look for tomatoes that have a rich red uniform colour and are firm and heavy. These tomatoes have the best flavour and the most lycopenes and nutritional value. If you must purchase conventional tomatoes peek the skin off before using.