Honey-Roasted Tomato Spread

A glass jar containing savoury roasted tomato spread with a spoonful of roasted tomato spread in the background. The dishes rest on a white tablecloth.

Let’s face it, unless you live in a warm climate year-round winter tomatoes will always be things of underwhelming mediocrity. So what’s the antidote to several months of off-season tomatoes? You take a tried-and-true cooking method like slow-roasting and you add a generous drizzle of honey (and sundried tomatoes just to be sure). Blitzing the slow-roasted honey-coated tomatoes with a few other familiar savoury ingredients results in a spread so full of deep tomato flavour it may as well have been made with tomatoes cut fresh from the vine.

What to do with honey-roasted tomato spread

  • Make a sophisticated yet simple pasta dish: Prepare your favourite pasta noodles as directed, reserving a scant cup of salted pasta water before draining. Add the honey-roasted tomato spread to the hot pasta, using about 2 tablespoons of the spread per serving and thinning it with the pasta water. Top with more chopped olives, fresh oregano or basil, and plenty of good parmesan.
  • Add to grilled cheese: Spread a thick layer of honey-roasted tomato spread onto one half of a grilled cheese as it’s being prepped. Fresh cow or buffalo milk mozzarella, Chèvre Noir (or other aged goat cheddar), and Taleggio are all excellent pairings.
  • Use as a cheese or charcuterie accoutrement: Honey-roasted tomato spread can be used as-is or piled onto a thick layer of labneh or Greek yogurt.
  • In egg dishes: Either use as a topping for eggs or incorporate it directly into omelettes, quiches, and frittatas.
  • With roasted chicken and pork: A spoonful of honey-roasted tomato spread will do wonders to liven up roasted chicken and pork. Alternately, rub the spread directly onto the poultry or meat to infuse it with delicious Mediterranean flavours.
Two spoons resting on a decorative plate. One contains honey-roasted tomato spread the other capers.

Honey-Roasted Tomato Spread

Yields:

1 generous cup of honey-roasted tomato spread

Ingredients:

2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes (or any other small, sweet tomatoes)

8 cloves of garlic, papery skins removed and left whole

1 large sprig of fresh rosemary

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

2 sprigs of fresh oregano

2 Tbsp. olive oil + 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

2 Tbsp. honey

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

8-10 kalamata olives, pits removed

1 tsp. capers, in brine or salted and rinsed

2 Tbsp. sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and roughly chopped

Special equipment:

Sharp chef’s knife

Cutting board

Measuring cups and spoons

Roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet

Parchment paper or silicon baking mat

Kitchen tongs

Food processor

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 275° Fahrenheit/135° Celsius.
  2. Line a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
  3. Spread the tomatoes, garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme, and oregano evenly across the roasting pan or baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle the tomatoes, garlic, and fresh herbs with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the honey, and a generous sprinkling of kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Use your hands to toss everything together, making sure the oil and honey are evenly distributed.
  5. Roast the tomatoes for 60-90 minutes, gently stirring the contents of the baking sheet with a spatula.
  6. The tomatoes are done once they’ve collapsed and have developed a jammy texture.
  7. Remove the remaining sprigs of fresh herbs and scrape the tomatoes and garlic cloves into a food processor (make sure you get any pan juices, too!).
  8. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive, lemon juice, kalamata olives, capers, and sundried tomatoes. Blitz until the mixture is thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides with a spatula.
  9. Transfer the honey-roasted tomato spread to a sealed container or glass jar and store for up to 2 weeks.

I am a monster, but I am also in love with Austra (they’re no stranger to Music With Dinner). Despite feeling like I’ve taken a swan dive into a drowning pool, I can almost feel the truth of “I don’t feel nothing, anymore.” Everything about this song is my current truth as I’m experiencing it. The energy of this song is frenetic and uncomfortable, the vocals are questioning, searching, resigning. In what feels like several weeks of oscillation between overwhelming sadness and total loss of feeling, the euphonic depth of Austra’s Future Politics is the perfect, darkest cloak to hide behind.

Austra – I’m A Monster

Asian Inspired Bright Steak Salad

Steak salad arranged on a white plate in a colourful presentation containing purple cabbage, greens, tomatoes, red peppers, and slivered ribeye steak. On a flowery tablecloth.

I like my steak really, really rare; not quite blue, but the closest shade possible (a particularly rosy shade of indigo?).  I generally make steak about once a month, I can go weeks without red meat and then suddenly I need the rarest, bloodiest, still perfectly pink red inside and seared on the outside steak I can get my hands on. Last week I treated myself to a ribeye steak that was so massive not even ravenous and particularly carnivorous Ashley could finish it. Steak sandwiches are always a good way to use up a leftover steak, but I suppose I was hankering for something slightly lighter (after all, I had to make buttery wish mashed potatoes, caramelized onions, and sautéed mushrooms to go with my steak dinner), and this steak salad was born. Marinating the steak after it’s been cooked gives it marvellous complexity and intense flavour, especially if you can give it a significant time in the fridge before you prepare this recipe. I wanted this salad to have tons of crunch and tons of colour but feel free to use my suggestions as a guide only, you can use any kind of vegetable or leafy green you’d like. I think salads like this are functionally best when presented on a shallow serving platter, this way the heavier salad ingredients and the dressing won’t sift down to the bottom of the bowl. You can also take this salad to work or school with you, just keep the steak and it’s marinade separately in a tightly lidded container and add right before you eat your lunch. Alternately, if eaten at home or on a picnic, this salad is fantastic with a really cold glass of dry Prosecco – the brightness of the salad is perfect with the crispness of the wine.

asian inspired bright steak salad:

1 ribeye steak, prepared your favourite way and at room temperature or cooler

1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. fish sauce

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

Juice of 1 lime

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. finely minced ginger

2 tsp. garlic and chili sauce

1 Tbsp. dark sesame oil

2 small heads of bok choy, cut into fin ribbons

1 cup of shredded purple cabbage

1 cup cucumber, thinly sliced

1 red sweet pepper, thinly sliced into strips

2 cups of green leaf lettuce, torn into small pieces

1 jalapeño pepper, sliced very thinly

1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved or quartered

3 scallions, snipped into small pieces

A large handful of cilantro, torn into small pieces

A large handful or fresh basil, torn into small pieces

  1. Slice the steak very thinly on a cutting board, I find that a good carving set is essential for creating extra thin slices.
  2. Whisk together the rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, ginger, garlic and chili sauce, and sesame oil in a medium-sized glass container. Add the steak pieces and marinade for at least an out but up to overnight.
  3. When you’re ready to eat you salad arrange the bok choy, purple cabbage, cucumber, sweet pepper, green leaf lettuce, jalapeño pepper, and grape tomatoes on a large, shallow serving platter. Add the steak slices and pour the marinade over the salad to coat. Gently toss to coat the salad with dressing and finish the salad with a generous sprinkling of cilantro and fresh basil before serving.

 

Intentionally operatic and beautiful, Austra reminds me so much of the best of best: Kate Bush, Annie Lennox, Tori Amos, and Elizabeth Fraser. Cinematic, atmospheric, lush, and darkly moving – I wish I had Austra in high school, because I know I would have a band photo up in my locker amongst all the other aforementioned greats.

Austra – The Beat and Pulse