Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fresh from the garden: Roasted tomato tapenade

Served atop torn focaccia: also a delicious option
This tapenade is perfect for the cooling weather that’s ending our summer harvest. The roasting brings out the flavor in the tomatoes, so you can use your possibly less-than-desirable late-bloomers. I drew inspiration for this recipe from the August 2011 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. It’s surprisingly versatile—I would serve it at a special occasion, dinner party or casual Friday night at home. Dish it up as a perfect transition from cool, crisp summer dishes to warm and comforting fall ones.

Roasted Tomato Tapenade
  • 2 pounds (6 cups) red and yellow cherry tomatoes, sliced in half if large
  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata and pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 4-6 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 6-8 basil leaves, chiffonade (or 1 teaspoon dried)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange tomatoes in a single layer and drizzle with about ½ tablespoon olive oil. Roast on upper rack of oven for 10 minutes. Add olives, capers and garlic to baking sheet. Sprinkle with half the salt, half the black pepper and red pepper. Continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes or until tomatoes start to crack (or burst when lightly pressed). Meanwhile, whisk remaining olive oil, vinegar, remaining salt and pepper, and basil in a serving bowl. Remove tomato mixture from the oven and pour into bowl. Gently fold to coat with olive oil mixture (don’t worry if the tomatoes start to burst—it’s better this way!).

Serve warm aside toasted focaccia (I first tried this with rosemary focaccia—delish!!) or crusty French bread. Use leftovers on top of baked tilapia.

If you like olives or traditional tapenade, this deeply flavorful dish will soon become one of your winter faves! And don’t forget the wine J