Sautéed Tomatoes with Arugula Pesto and Feta


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Let's Do Brunch

Let's Do Brunch

By Brigit Binns

Published 2013

  • About

Simple side dishes can transform your brunch menu and are an opportunity to make the most of fresh seasonal ingredients. Here, small, sweet tomatoes and tangy feta dressed with an arugula pesto show off summer’s crops.


  • 3 Tbsp walnuts
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • Leaves from ¼ bunch fresh basil
  • 1 cup (1 oz/30 g) packed baby arugula leaves, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 5 Tbsp (3 fl oz/80 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • lb (750 g) pear tomatoes
  • 2 oz (60 g) feta cheese


    Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Spread the walnuts in a baking pan. Toast until they turn a shade or two darker and are fragrant, 6–8 minutes. Pour the nuts onto a plate to cool.

    In a food processor, combine the toasted walnuts, lemon zest, and garlic and pulse just to combine. Add the basil and arugula and process until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, slowly pour in 4 Tbsp (2 fl oz/60 ml) of the oil. Continue to process until the mixture is moist and well blended but still slightly chunky. Transfer the pesto to a small bowl and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

    In a frying pan, warm the remaining 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and a pinch of salt and sauté until the tomatoes are warmed through and their skins are just beginning to split, 3–4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pesto. Transfer the tomatoes to a serving dish and crumble the cheese over the top. Serve hot or at room temperature. If desired, top the tomatoes and cheese with a scattering of arugula leaves.

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