sun dried tomato

Olive Sun-Dried Tomato Dip and Pesto Recipe

This sun-dried tomato dip is my own take on tapenade.

I just love sun-dried tomato dishes, and never miss a chance to include them in dishes where I think they will fit. In this dip, pairing the  glorious sun-dried tomato with basil and olives is a surefire hit.

Take sun-dried tomato dip in several exciting directions

  • Spread it as is on toast or bruschetta, or with vegetables as a dip.
  • Mix with a little low-fat mayonnaise, silken tofu, or yogurt (dairy-free OK), and get another variation on the original dip.
  • Use it as pesto: Boil some noodles and mix 1 cup of the cooking liquid into the mixture, and get a pasta sauce.
  • Mix with a little white wine and get a sauce for chicken or fish.

Don’t be afraid to make a larger batch: It freezes very well.

Please note I have no salt listed in the recipe, as I trust the tomatoes, olives and capers will provide more than enough salt. In fact I instruct you to rinse all of them so you end up with an overly salty dip.

Bare bones variation of the dip/sauce

Even if you decide all you want to do is use sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and basil. In this case use double the sun-dried tomatoes


  • ½ cup pitted Moroccan or Niçoise olives, rinsed (be sure to check that no occasional pit was left in)
  • 1 cup basil leaves, packed
  • 6 large cloves garlic
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed, rinsed and squeezed dry
  • ½ cup capers, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil


In a food processor, place the olives, basil, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and capers, and grind coarsely, using the pulse button. Add the vinegar and pepper and pulse again. With the motor running, add the oil in a steady stream and process just a few seconds. You want to end up with a smooth but chunky (not creamy) mixture. Makes 2 cups. Store refrigerated in a glass jar.

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