Vegan Caprese with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Attachment-3.jpeg
 

It’s starting to taste like summer!!

The moment I see tomatoes back in season my heart skips a beat and I begin to scheming how I can infuse them into everything I eat. Naturally, a tomato appetizer is on the menu this week. Bring to share as a dinner party or healthy BBQ appetizer / side dish, enjoy as a snack or add a protein and make it a meal.

Tomatoes can sometimes get a bad reputation as a nightshade, but their concentrated antioxidant content makes them one of the world’s healthiest foods. For an added nutritional boost - combine with olive oil (re: pesto below) to increase the absorption of fat-soluble antioxidants (especially lycopene), which amplifies it’s anti-inflammatory benefits even more.

Fun Fact: Did you know that eating 1-2 cups of tomatoes per day can also protect you from sunburns and help reduce the risk of certain types of skin cancer?

(Dairy Free, Paleo, Vegan / Vegetarian, low FODMAP, SIBO friendly)

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

  • 2/3 c sulfite free sun-dried tomatoes*
  • 1.5 c fresh basil
  • 1 c filtered water
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked pepper
  • Optional - 2 small garlic cloves (use garlic-infused olive oil if low FODMAP)

*If the tomatoes are not packed in oil, soak for 20 minutes in warm water prior to using this recipe. Discard extra water.

Combine all ingredients into a food processor or blender until completely combined. Chill overnight or for several hours before serving - mixture will thicken. Stir before using. Enjoy leftovers on salads or roasted vegetables. Keep up to one week.

The Salad

  • 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, cut into ½ inch slices
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh basil
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked pepper
  • ⅓ cup almond "ricotta" (like this one from Kite Hill)
  • ¼ c torn basil leaves, for serving

In a small bowl combine the almond ricotta, sea salt and basil and set aside. Layer the tomato slices and ricotta mixture on a platter. Drizzle with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette and fresh torn basil leaves.

 

More ways to enjoy:

  • Layer on top of this veggie flatbread to make a vegan ‘pizza’
  • Pair with wild salmon and avocado (to make a not-so-vegan meal)
  • Layer on top of a flax cracker and hummus

 

Now go impress all of your friends ...