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Tomato Towers+ Almond Pesto

My favorite thing about visiting the farmer’s market in the summer is seeing all the varieties of heirloom tomatoes. It’s amazing to see the beautifully bizarre shapes that tomatoes grow in, and each shade yellow, red and green has a unique flavor.

Today’s recipe for Tomato Towers takes advantage of the colorful varieties of this fruit.  Combined with cashew cheese, avocado and pesto, this recipe is salty and savory but nicely balanced with the sweetness of the tomatoes. At last week’s Vegan Shop Up I picked up some Herb-Garlic French Style Cashew Cheese from Treeline (all of their products are amazing!) so that’s what is used in the photos for this recipe, but you can make your own by following my recipe for Cashew Cheese.

Don’t worry if you aren’t able to find yellow tomatoes, this recipe will taste just as good with one less color. The Tomato Towers are topped with Almond Pesto, so don’t forget to grab basil while you’re at the farmer’s market!

tomato tower 4

Tomato Towers

makes 4 servings

What you’ll need:

  • 2 large tomatos (preferably 1 red and 1 yellow)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup Cashew Cheese
  • 1 batch Almond Pesto

Directions:

  1. Cut tomatoes into slices about 1/4″- 1/2″ inch thick. Open avocado, remove pit cut into thin, lengthwise slices.
  2. Build tower in layers as follow- yellow tomato slice, avocado, red tomato slice, cashew cheese- repeat once and top with Almond Pesto.
  3. Serve right away and enjoy!

tomato tower 1

tomato tower 2

tomato tower 3

Once you start cutting into the towers your plate pretty much becomes a salad, so serve your towers on a base of greens, or with other veggies. These towers make an impressive appetizer or side dish for when you’re entertaining guests. I kept my plate feeling mediterranean and served mine with chickpeas and kalamata olives.

Now let’s make the the pesto..

almond pesto 3

Almond Pesto

makes 6-8 servings

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup almonds (soaked at least 4 hours)
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs gluten-free tamari
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp agave (optional, I like it because it balances the bitter/salty flavors)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • dash of sea salt

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients and blend until mostly smooth. I like to mind to be textured so I stop blending before it’s totally smooth. Serve right away or store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Almond pesto 1

almond pesto 2

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