Tomato pesto, the thai way

[HAPPY VEGGIE] Who does not like tomato? Set the caprese salad on the side for a while and drop the ketchup! I have a much better version of tomato sauce. It comes like a pesto, naturally sweet with tomato and red pepper, spiced up with smoked chili . Thai basil brings a subtle aniseed flavour that speaks of Asia. And the trick lies in the secret ingredient : chili paste oil, which accounts for a lot of depth. This pesto will be perfect for spaghetti , on crostini, on fish or eggplants, unless you just eat it by the spoon…

tomate basil3


Recipe (for a big jar)

– 1 candied tomato and half red pepper roasted with olive oil and cilantro seeds

– 1 ts of chili oil paste

– 1/2 ts of smoked paprika or you can also use grilled chunks of chorizo (spanish sausage)

– 1/2 ts of fish sauce (called nuoc mam in Vietnamese or nam pla in Thai)

–  a handful of thai basil (and coriander optional)

1. Roast the tomato and red pepper for 45′ in the oven, average heat. I flavored them with a pinch of salt, olive oil and cilantro seeds. These can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge up to one week.

2. Add all other ingredients but the herbs and mix

3. Garnish with the thai basil leaves. If you don’t have thai basil you can substitute with some aneth and mint

Ready! can’t be easier, enjoy!

Late and hungry? this will be perfect on pasta.. And don’t forget to add a bunch of fresh herbs. This makes a lot of difference. I know, I must be the only one to put an entire bouquet in my fridge.. But it is always the same pleasure to come back from market with fragrant fresh herbs. This week : mint, vervena, thai basil and cilantro…

herbes aromatiques

Aromatic bouquet for my fridge…


So.. what have you been cooking lately with tomato?

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