Goth Panda

Sundried Tomato Pesto Spread

So this cooking adventure started at Panera. I had their tomato and mozzarella panini a few weeks ago, and I thought, I could make this at home if I had the right sundried tomato pesto spread. The rest of the ingredients are simple.

But I had a hard time finding the kind of recipe I wanted. Most sundried tomato spread recipes were based on cream cheese, which sounds delicious also, but wasn’t what I was looking for. And then there were some that were more pesto-y, with a lot of olive oil, which would be perfect for pasta, but I wasn’t sure how they would work on bread as a sandwich spread.

I finally found something like what I was looking for on a website called Kalyn’s Kitchen.

You need fresh parsley and basil. The recipe didn’t specify, so I used curly leaf parsley. Is there a big difference between varieties of parsley?

Curly Leaf Parsley

Parsley and Basil

Here is where I admit that I am not at all used to using fresh herbs. I have no idea what the best way is to chop, dice, mince, tear, or otherwise properly process them. And to tell you the truth, I am a little afraid of them. So I just kind of roughly chopped them up and figured I could put them in the Cuisinart a step ahead, with the garlic, and let the food processor do the processing. That is, after all, its job title.

Here’s my six cloves of garlic:


Garlic in the Cuisinart

Parsley and Basil

And here’s everything chopped up.

Chopped Up

At this point, I added the sundried tomatoes. I just threw the whole jar in and didn’t bother draining the oil.

Sundried Tomatoes

One did not want to join the group, but was eventually persuaded.

One Sundried Tomato Did Not Want to Take Part

Sundried tomatoes may be my favorite kind of tomatoes.

Sundried Tomatoes Added

Added two cups of parmesan cheese. I used the cheap stuff, because two cups of the good stuff would have cost $40.

Parmesan Cheese

I needed some lemon juice, which I squeezed ineptly by hand.


Lemon Juice

And then I processed it all up.

Sundried Tomato Pesto Spread

This made a ton. I will have to remember to halve this recipe in the future.

Sundried Tomato Pesto Spread

In the meantime, if anyone I know would like some sundried tomato pesto spread, you are welcome to come over to my house with a container and take some. It is supposed to be good for up to a month in the refrigerator. You can put it on sandwiches, or pasta, or eat it on crackers. You could probably use it to top some meat products, but I wouldn’t know anything about that.

I put it on sandwiches. This is store-bought sourdough bread (since my sourdough weekend experiment was not successful), brushed with olive oil, with mozzarella and the sundried tomato pesto spread on the inside. And it was good.

Grilled Mozzarella and Sundried Tomato Pesto Spread

8 thoughts on “Sundried Tomato Pesto Spread

  1. How would you say it compares to Panera’s? I absolutely love their tomato mozzarella panini, but it’s the sauce that I haven’t been able to recreate.

  2. To be honest, I haven’t had it in years. I’ve become obsessed with their mac and cheese instead (but that’s another topic). I didn’t think so when I last had it, but it might have changed since then!

  3. I work at Panera and I brought some tomato pesto home one day (with boss’s permission) Browned up some chicken thighs, cubed some potatoes and thru them in, then added the pesto with a bit of water and let it cook til potatoes were done! DELICIOUS!!!

Leave a Reply