Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Roasted Tomato, Fig Tapenade, and Feta Sandwich

August comes all too quickly in summer. It means summer is on it's way out and we must hurry to accomplish any summer dreams left untouched. Thus far, summer has been taken on with great gusto in our household. We have fished, climbed mountains, grilled and then grilled some more, spent many an evening on the porch, grown about 100 carrots (anyone want some carrots?), and camped. Left on the summer list is to learn to play that darn mandolin (this can be accomplished in a month, right?), one last camping trip, using the smoker, canning, and eating as many fresh Colorado tomatoes as we can possibly fit in before frost takes them away.

Accomplishing this last task shouldn't be a problem. I have never seen our tomato plants so laden with fruit. I could eat caprese six ways to Sunday. I could also never grow tired of our favorite pasta with hearty veggie meat sauce made from tomatoes right off the vine. Finally, we must put tomatoes in a sandwich because sandwiches are a splendid thing. This roasted tomato sandwich with salty sweet fig tapenade and feta is quite glorious and easy and vegetarian. This sandwich embraces the bounty of late summer and you should too.

Roasted Tomato, Fig Tapenade, and Feta Sandwich
Serves 4

Roasted tomatoes
4 medium to large tomatoes, sliced about 1/2" thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss sliced tomatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until tomatoes get wilted and slightly charred.

Balsamic vinegar reduction 
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Place balsamic in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer until vinegar has reduced by half, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Fig Tapenade
1 cup mixed olives, pitted (use your favorite olives here but avoid black olives)
2/3 cup dried figs, quartered
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons capers

In a food processor or blender, pulse the olives, dried figs, and garlic together, until coarsely chopped. Add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper, and pulse a few more times to incorporate. Mixture can be as chunky or smooth as you wish. Mix in capers by hand.

To assemble
4 ciabatta rolls, toasted

On the toasted roll, layer your tapenade and tomatoes, drizzle over reduction, and sprinkle on the feta.

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