Articles & Recipes

Tomato and Olive Antipasto

September 28, 2018

With jars of this antipasto in your pantry, you can have appetizers ready in mere minutes. The tangy, savory flavors are a delight on their own or when served with rich cheeses or cured meats.

Ingredients Makes about eight 8-ounce (250 mL) or four pint (500 mL) jars

10 cups chopped peeled plum (Roma) tomatoes, divided 2.5 L
11⁄2 cups finely chopped onions 375 mL
11⁄2 cups diced red bell peppers 375 mL
1 cup diced green bell pepper 250 mL
1 cup diced celery 250 mL
2 tbsp minced garlic 25 mL
2 bay leaves 2
1 cup granulated sugar 250 mL
1 tbsp pickling or canning salt 15 mL
1 tbsp dried basil 15 mL
2 tsp dried oregano 10 mL
1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 2 mL
11⁄2 cups red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar 375 mL
1⁄2 cup drained rinsed brine-cured black olives, slivered (see Tip) 125 mL

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or blender, purée 2 cups (500 mL) of the tomatoes until smooth.
  2. In a large pot, combine puréed and chopped 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. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring often, for about 2 hours or until antipasto is reduced by about half and is thick enough to mound on a spoon.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare canner, jars and lids.
  4. Stir olives into antipasto and boil gently, stirring often, for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Discard bay leaves.
  5. Ladle hot antipasto into hot jars, leaving 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace as necessary by adding hot antipasto. Wipe rim and place hot lid disc on jar. Screw band down until fingertip-tight.
  6. 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.
Use black olives that have been cured and preserved in brine (not oil) to make sure they are high in acid. Drain and rinse well. To cut slivers, place olives narrow end down on a cutting board and, using a sharp paring knife, cut the flesh away from the pit in about 4 slices. Place slices flat side down on board and cut into 1⁄8-inch (0.5 cm) slivers. You'll need about 15 large olives.
Spread on toasted baguette slices or crackers. Serve on top of grilled fish or poultry.

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