TOMATO TAPENADE (Adapted from Ina Garten)

This tapenade is AMAZING.  I served it recently while at the beach on vacation, on crostini, and we all loved it, but I also used it on a sandwich, and WOW!  It was a game changer.  This time I’m using it as a dip with sturdy crackers, and I gave half of it to my daughter, Caroline, to enjoy on crostini as she drives with her boyfriend, Brian, on a trip to Boston this weekend.  I’ve already gotten big thumbs up from them!  The combination of flavors it to die for – tangy balsamic, sweet from the brown sugar and depth of flavors from the garlic, kalamata olives and herbs!

2 lbs small tomatoes, cut into 1” pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
3 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 tsp brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp finely chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Cover a jelly roll pan or roasting pan with heavy duty foil for easy clean up. Combine the cut tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and brown sugar right in your pan.

Roast for about 25 minutes, or until the tomatoes slump and the juices are bubbling. Remove pan from the oven and set aside to cool a bit.

Once you can comfortably handle the tomatoes, place them on a cutting board and chop them a bit more finely.

Transfer tomatoes to a small bowl. Then add juice from the roasting pan and chopping board, olives, hot pepper flakes, thyme, rosemary, and basil.

Stir gently to fully combine. Store covered in a nonreactive container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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