Matt Yohalem’s Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

October 12, 2019

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Matt Yohalem’s Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Chef Matt Yohalem, chef/owner of Il Piatto Italian Farmhouse Kitchen, has been a leader in the farm-to-restaurant movement in Santa Fe. Learn about Matt’s commitment to local food here. This recipe is from a brief pesto series on the Il Piatto website.

Most people think of pesto as a green parmesan-basil puree, usually served with pasta. Pesto actually gets its name from that which can be prepared with a mortar & pestle. If it can be squashed or even pureed (using the pulse to get the full effect) it can be called a pesto. Examples include:

  • Pistachio & Arugula Pesto
  • Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
  • Walnut, Cranberry, Vinegar, Orange Zest, Garlic & Olive Oil Pesto
  • Apple Cider, Cinnamon, Hot Pepper & Truffle Oil Pesto (for game)

Pesto is perhaps the most versatile of sauce concepts. Generally, pestos are served at room temperature. As a matter of methodology, generally a small amount of the drier ingredients are started in a cuisinart as oil is added. This is followed by more dry ingredients. Pulsing produces a more authentic (mortar & pestle) texture.

The Recipe


  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 fresh ripe tomato
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. chopped basil
  • 1 tsp. chopped parsley
  • Salt and peppermill
  • 1 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp. chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsp. tomato rehydrating water


  1. Rehydrate the sun-dried tomatoes by soaking them in water overnight. Squeeze the water out of the tomatoes, keep a tablespoon of the liquid for later use.
  2. Place all ingredients in cuisinart and puree, adding tomato water of needed.

This locally inspired recipe is brought to you by Pam Walker. Pam is an avid home cook, writer, and local farm and food activist who is also a board member of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute. Thank you, Pam, for helping inspire us to use locally sourced ingredients!