Tomato Pesto Scones Recipe

We tend to think of scones as mild and comforting, made of a few basic ingredients with maybe a little dried fruit thrown in for variation. But their simplicity makes them perfect for experimentation, and in recent years people have added savory elements such as cheese, herbs, or bacon. A savory baked good is the perfect vehicle to carry flavor, making it a satisfying snack on its own as well as a welcome accompaniment to a wide variety of dishes. Developer Tess Le Moing describes these tomato pesto scones as "savory and ever-so-slightly sweet," and says that they are "bursting with the flavors of sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, and Parmesan cheese." 

Le Moing suggests that these scones are "a perfect addition to your brunch or as a savory snack. They have a tender texture on the inside and a slightly crisp, golden-brown crust on the outside. Serve them warm with salted butter or cream cheese for a delicious treat." However because they are made with olive oil, you could skip the dairy and instead dip them into an herb-seasoned oil. These scones would serve as an unusual alternative to garlic bread with a Mediterranean-style meal such as Caprese salad, eggplant parmesan, or spaghetti marinara. At brunch, you could serve them alongside the Neapolitan dish known as uova in purgatorio (eggs in purgatory). 

Gather the ingredients for the tomato pesto scones

For this recipe, you're going to need some standard scone recipe ingredients such as flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar, and milk. To give them their savory flavor, you will also need pepper, parmesan cheese, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, fresh basil leaves, and olive oil.

Step 1: Preheat the oven

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Step 2: Prepare a pan

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 3: Combine the dry ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pepper.

Step 4: Add the cheese, tomatoes, and nuts

Mix in the Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, and pine nuts.

Step 5: Process the basil with the sugar

Add basil and sugar to a food processor and process for 5 seconds.

Step 6: Mix in the milk and oil

Add olive oil and milk to the basil leaves and process for 5 seconds.

Step 7: Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ones

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Step 8: Remove the dough from the bowl

Turn the mixture onto a work surface.

Step 9: Form the dough into a round

Gently pat the dough to make a disk about 1 ½ inches thick.

Step 10: Divide the dough into wedges

Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut the dough into 6 wedges.

Step 11: Put the scones in the pan

Set the scones on the prepared baking sheet.

Step 12: Bake the scones

Bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 F and bake for an additional 10 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

What gives these tomato pesto scones such a unique flavor?

These pretty green scones, studded with deep red tomatoes and toasted pinenuts, are chock full of strong complementary flavors. Le Moing went all-in on Mediterranean flavors when creating these tomato pesto scones, so much so that she even skipped using the butter that is such an important ingredient in many scone recipes. Instead, she tells us "I used olive oil to create a more pesto flavor." She suggests using extra-virgin olive oil as it has a stronger taste, but you can use virgin or pure olive oil if you prefer something milder and less olivey, or if that's what you happen to have on hand.

Another method that Le Moing uses to intensify the flavor, which you don't see in too many other scone recipes, is to grind the basil leaves together with the sugar in a food processor. This step, she says, "releases their oils and makes the scones more balanced in flavor," since a little extra basil is needed to stand up to the powerful flavors of sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese.

How long can I store these tomato pesto scones?

For optimal freshness, these scones need to be eaten within a day or two if they're to be kept at room temperature. Le Moing also suggests that you should wait till they have cooled down completely before you enclose them in an airtight container. If you prefer to refrigerate the scones, she says this should prolong their lifespan for about a week. Of course, you can also freeze the scones, if you'd like to hold on to them for a longer time. While frozen goods are safe to eat for an indefinite period, Le Moing suggests that these scones might start to lose some of their flavor after 3 months.

"However you store them," Le Moing says of these tomato pesto scones, "I highly recommend reheating them in a 350 F oven for 5 to 10 minutes." Doing so, she assures us, will "help revive their texture and flavor." So you can pop one or two out of the freezer and warm them up for a flavorful, summery accompaniment to a warm bowl of soup on a winter afternoon.

Tomato Pesto Scones Recipe
5 from 15 ratings
Tomato pesto scones are bursting with the summery flavor of fresh basil and get an umami pop from sun-dried tomatoes: perfect as a snack or with a bowl of soup.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
30
minutes
Servings
6
Scones
greenish-brown scones in green napkin
Total time: 40 minutes
Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 cups tightly packed basil leaves
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup whole milk
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pepper.
  4. Mix in the Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, and pine nuts.
  5. Add basil and sugar to a food processor and process for 5 seconds.
  6. Add olive oil and milk to the basil leaves and process for 5 seconds.
  7. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  8. Turn the mixture onto a work surface.
  9. Gently pat the dough to make a disk about 1 ½ inches thick.
  10. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut the dough into 6 wedges.
  11. Set the scones on the prepared baking sheet.
  12. Bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 F and bake for an additional 10 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 551
Total Fat 27.6 g
Saturated Fat 5.2 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 10.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 63.6 g
Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
Total Sugars 12.5 g
Sodium 345.1 mg
Protein 13.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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