Sometimes you need a segue. Not one of those vertical scooter-like vehicles that automatically prompts a chuckle with visions of Paul Blart or Gob awkwardly motoring along (I apologize if you have not seen Mall Cop or Arrested Development. I also apologize for admitting that I have). A segue that gracefully closes the door on one thing while getting you excited about what is yet to come.


Currently I’m making the transition from Summer to Fall. In the last few weeks I’ve had a lunch of fresh tomatoes with shaved corn, basil and goat cheese while then enjoying a slice of apple pie for dessert. While I’m not complaining about either of these dishes, I’m feeling the pull of wanting to snatch up the last of the Summer’s bounty while yet being nudged into cold weather foods, with thoughts of cold, dark evenings, and *gasp* even the holidays.


With my mind leaning into the cold months eating raw zucchini, and fresh tomatoes feels somewhat uncouth. In an effort to seque to Fall while still saying my long goodbyes to Summer I created a meal that has a hand in either direction.

Bright Summer tomatoes blend with sun-dried tomatoes for added depth and warmth. Fresh herbs brighten while sweet paprika add a subtle smokiness that spurs up images of evenings in front of the fire. A thick hearty tomato paste that softens under the heat of pasta is again brightened with a casually placed pile of fresh arugula. Topped with freshly grated Parmesan and toasted walnuts it’s the perfect segue of the seasons.



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Tomato Pesto

If you’d prefer to pass on the pasta slather this pesto on a sandwich instead. Perhaps grilled with a slice of Provolone.


1 medium tomato

½ cup sun-dried tomatoes (if using oil cured reserved 2 T of the oil to add in later)

1 garlic clove

½ cup fresh basil

1 tablespoon fresh tarragon (optional)

½ teaspoon sweet paprika

¼ cup toasted walnut halves

½ cup grated Parmesan

½ teaspoon salt



In the bowl of a food processor add the tomatoes and garlic. Blend. Add the remaining ingredients and blend to combine. Tast and adjust seasoning.

Toss this with pasta and top with Parmesan and walnuts. Or simply use as a sandwich spread or a fresh vegetable dip.

48 Responses to “Tomato Pesto”

  1. Stella

    So, I’ve been living under a rock, I guess. I’d never heard of tomato pesto! I am enthralled, thank you for this!!

  2. Lisa L.

    Looks delicious!! I am going to give this a try later this week with some homegrown tomatoes! Thank you for the wonderful idea!

  3. Kocinera

    I’m so with you on the summer/fall clash. It feels like it’s time to say goodbye to summery foods and break out the pumpkins and root veggies. I love how this tomato pesto mixes the lightness of summer foods with a touch of autumn’s heartiness.

  4. Jóhanna

    I was looking (with one eye if that) at TV a couple of nights ago and saw a dishwashin liquid commercial……so I was curious to see if this blogger was real or if it was just made up for that tv commercial!;) So I went online soon after, and there it was, a real blog! And, I love it! Your pictures and recipes look delisious and make me want to do something awesome!

  5. Katrina

    This is absolutely beautiful. Funny how your simple tomato pictures turn out to be something I’d have on my wall! Love it.

  6. Carol

    I made this last night and it was amazing…it really packs a big flavour punch. We have had a couple of very cool days and this was the perfect dinner for such a day. It will be a regular in our house!

  7. Rachel M

    I made plain pesto yesterday, but I still have lots of basil left, so maybe I should try this! I know it would still have that marvelous basil flavor, but a new twist with the tomato, tarragon, and paprika.

  8. Valeria

    I feel the same, in transition, divided between oatmeal and smoothie, naps and long bike rides in the sun. The weather here still invites to stay outside and enjoy summer fare. I’ll second it, and feel goos enough, thinking there will be time for confort food. I will make this to help the transition, yet eating it as it was a summer dish, because this is what every pesto seems to me, it always reminds me of lunches in sunny days. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Joanne

    This sounds lovely, using both fresh and sun dried tomatoes is a great idea! I love the addition of sweet paprika, too.
    Thanks, Joanne.

  10. Brian @ A Thought For Food

    I do believe in easing into a season… especially when it comes to food. While I’m anxious to get chowin’ on some squash, I know that in a month’s time, I’ll be yearning for the delights of summer.

  11. perudelights

    This recipe is amazing, I already added it to my menu and everybody in my family love it. The pictures are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Kasey

    I’m still holding on to my tomatoes but am slowly easing my way into fall. This pesto sounds like a good, easy transition in 🙂

  13. Leah D.

    Ashley! Just had to tell you that last night I made this pesto and used it as the base for your calzone recipe w/ a little chicken sausage – SO good! Thanks for sharing your gifts & recipes – made for a VERY tasty evening, an amazing smelling house, and lunches for the days to come!

  14. Betsey

    Don’t apologize for Arrested Development!

    I wish I had success with tomatoes in my garden this summer, because this pesto looks fabulous.

  15. jillian

    Oh ashley, any time I see or hear mention of a segue, my mind immediately defaults to an image of Gob, and I laugh a little–I agree, no need to apologize for the AD reference. And your pictures, of course, are beautiful.


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