A traditional pesto genovese is made with loads of fresh basil, but by no means do you have to stick by tradition. This version has been jazzed up with pungent sun-dried tomatoes. Pesto means paste, and it can have infinite variations based on what inspires you. Switch up the nuts or cheese, add some herbs or spices, or zip it up with some hot sauce.

Yield: Makes 2 cups


1 cup (250 mL) of oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, removed from the oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) of toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup (125 mL) of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese
1/2 cup (125 mL) of extra virgin olive oil
the tender stems and leaves of 1 small bunch of parsley


Purée everything together in a food processor or blender until smoothly blended.

Serve on top of a grilled steak or tossed in some pasta with your favourite vegetables.

© Chef Michael Smith