Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tomato & Olive Antipasto

One of my favourite preserves of each summer is this recipe for tomato & olive antipasto.  I tried it years ago from the book "The Complete Book of Pickling" by Jennifer MacKenzie, and have made it yearly ever since!  It is a fair amount of dicing, but well worth it in the end. Naturally you don't necessarily need to preserve this antipasto and can make it and keep it in the fridge, but the wonderful summer flavours will last longer if canned!  This tastes amazing with rich cheeses and cured meats such as salami!
8oz wide-mouthed jar fresh from the canner!

10 cups chopped Roma tomatoes (you can peel them but I don't and the texture is fine)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
1 1/2 cups diced red bell peppers
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1 cup diced celery
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 bay leaves
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp pickling or canning salt
1 tbsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups red or white wine vinegar (I use red for the rich colour it gives)
1/2 cup drained rinsed brine-cured olives, diced or slivered*
  • In a food processor or blender, puree 2 cups (500 mL) of the tomatoes until smooth (alternatively you can use passata).
  • In a large pot, combine pureed and diced tomatoes, onions, red and green peppers, celery, garlic, bay leaves, sugar, salt, basil, oregano, pepper and vinegar.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often to prevent burning on the bottom of the pot.
  • Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring often, for about 2 hours or until the antipasto is reduced by about half and is thick enough to mound on a spoon.
  • Meanwhile prepare canner, jars and lids.
  • Stir olives into antipasto and boil gently, stirring often, for 5 minutes to blend the flavours.  Discard the bay leaves.
  • Ladle hot antipasto into hot jars, leaving 1/2" headspace.  Remove air bubbles by sliding the handle of a spoon into the antipasto, and adjust headspace as necessary.  Wipe rim of jar and place hot disc on jar.  Screw band down until fingertip tight.
  • Place jars in canner and return to a boil.  Process for 20 minutes.  Turn off heat and remove canner lid.  Let jars stand in water for 5 minutes.  Transfer jars to a towel-lined surface and let stand for 24 hours.  Check lids and refrigerate any jars that are not sealed.
  • ENJOY!!
*I find the antipasto sits nicer on a cracker when diced but this is just preference!
**This recipe makes approximately 8 250mL jars or four 500 mL jars

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