Many a winter I go to the grocery store, buy a tomato, and add it to a wrap or salad. Many a winter I am utterly disappointed when I take a bite of that tomato. Its lack of flavor is disconcerting, as its pale color. *sigh*
Thankfully this winter I have learned my lesson and am using skipping on my annual tomato disappointment. Rather than hoping to recapture the flavor of summer in fresh produce, I have opted to work with the dried version. These sun-dried tomatoes are intensely flavorful and can be quite useful with a little preparation.
I personally prefer the dried version that need to be reconstituted with water. Yes, there are oil-packed versions, but they are too oily for me. I don’t want the extra calories and also don’t need the added flavor from olive oil. I’d rather take the 30 minutes or so to allow the tomatoes to rehydrate in a bowl of warm water.
No, these tomatoes won’t work well in a salad, if you’re looking for that crisp brightness of a vine-ripened tomato, but they do work well in soups and sauces, among other dishes.
This recipe is tomato-focused. Between the sun-dried tomato and tomato paste, it’s certainly a dish for fans of tomatoes. Fresh garlic adds a nice bite to the spread. For those who enjoy the taste of garlic, I’d encourage you to double the amount of garlic for an extra kick.
Made without oil, this spread has a pesto quality to it without the extra calories. Go ahead, eat the whole batch. There’s no guilt in it!
- 4 oz. sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 4 Tb. red wine
- 3 Tb. tomato paste
- Salt & pepper
- Place sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl, cover with warm water.
- Allow to soak for 30 minutes or until soft.
- Drain tomatoes.
- Combine tomatoes, garlic, basil, wine, and paste in food processor; blend until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve or refrigerate, covered, until needed.
- I served this spread as a topping for sauteed eggplant slices and also as a dip for pita bread. It would work well as a topping for many other ingredients.