This is the third of my “Food to Share” series, with the main ingredient inspired by this week’s heat wave tomato sun drying binge. The heat wave ended yesterday, and the day was cool and misty rain all day. Lovely weather, but I had a tray of tomatoes semi-sun dried, nearly but not quite dry enough for me to feel comfortable storing them in oil. My basic rule for storing things safely in oil is that if the food would store safely out of the oil, it’s fine. So tomatoes dried to the leather stage, where, so long as they were kept dry they would not go mildewy, are fine. But semi-sun-dried tomatoes that would go off if they weren’t under oil, should be stored in the fridge, and even then not for too long. Foods with a high acid content are safe for longer, and this tapenade would probably last for weeks, but the experiment will never get a chance to run in my household!
Everything on this platter is in glut in my garden at present:
- Sliced fresh Roma and yellow tomatoes
- Sliced fresh cucumber – the first of the Suyo Long. The flavour is lovely, but I’ll wait to see how the plant performs before adding it to the favourites
- Blanched Blue Lake beans
- Chargrilled eggplant and tromboncino
- Homemade polenta (I had some sweet corn that we didn’t get around to eating, and it had overmatured)
- And the star – sundried tomato tapenade
Served with sourdough crostini.
Sundried Tomato Tapenade Recipe:
In the food processor, blend together:
- ½ cup sun dried tomatoes (dried to soft leather, not crisp)
- 6 green olives, deseeded
- 6 macadamia nuts, lightly toasted
- ¼ cup fresh sweet basil
- good tasting virgin olive oil -about 4 dessertspoons, but it will vary depending on how dry your tomatoes are
The flavour is intense and wonderful on crostini or chargrilled vegetables. I can imagine it would go amazingly well with bocconcini too. Or on Turkish bread as a base for a Mediterranean-style lunch roll.