SUN DRIED TOMATO FLAVOR “CUBES” (also a spread)
This recipe makes a great spread. But ‘s also a recipe for so much more. You can freeze this spread in mini muffin pans (or ice cube trays) for use later in lots of different recipes — to boost the flavor and the nutrition of whatever you are making — from soups, to pasta sauces, to omelets — you name it!
Given below are the quantities that I used to make a small amount when I was first experimenting with this idea. But resulting flavor was so good, I went ahead and made this recipe in a much larger quantity, using a full-size food processor, the second time. In fact, I’ve already processed the whole two-pound jar of Sun Dried Tomatoes and now I have lots of flavor cubes ready and waiting in my freezer!
½ cup sun dried tomatoes canned in olive oil (only), drained
I used Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes in 100% pure olive oil that I bought at Costco. This product contains: sun dried tomatoes, pure olive oil, garlic, herbs, spices and sulfites (for color retention).
Some people are allergic to sulfur dioxide. For those people it’s definitely not safe; for the rest of us, it’s OK. For more on sulfur dioxide’s safety (and the safety of many other additives and preservatives in our food), see Center for Science in the Public Interest.
1 tablespoon (or more) extra-virgin olive oil
6 fresh basil leaves (exact quantity not important; use as much as you like)
- In winter when fresh basil is hard to come by and expensive, I don’t bother with fresh basil leaves. If I still have some Monamifood Basil Pesto Flavor Cubes in the freezer, I use those instead. And if I don’t have any left, I simply use Penzeys Spices Pasta Sprinkle (ingredients: sweet basil, Turkish oregano, thyme, and garlic). For the exact ingredients that I used when I made this recipe using using Penzeys Spices Pasta Sprinkle and a whole two-pound jar of Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes from Costco, see Sundried Tomato Flavor Cubes – Winter Version at the end of this post
1 tablespoon of other fresh herbs such as oregano and thyme (exact quantities not important), optional
¼ teaspoon Aleppo peppers (dried pepper), or to taste
- These are great little peppers and they’re ideal for pasta sauces. But you can use any hot pepper you have on hand. Of course, you will need to use less if your particular hot pepper is hotter than the aleppo pepper. So just taste and adjust seasoning.
- My Aleppo Pepper comes from Penzey’s (my favorite spice store).
In a mini-food processor fitted with the metal blade, place all ingredients and process to the consistency of a spread.
Spread on toast and enjoy!
Freeze this paste to make flavor cubes you can use whenever you want!
You can freeze this paste/spread just like you freeze the basil pesto, as explained in my earlier post on basil pesto.
- We went to a party the other day and I defrosted a few of these Sun Dried Tomato Flavor Cubes and just spread some on slices of toast. It was a big hit at the party.
- And when making pasta sauce with all of the tomatoes that are ripening in our little garden now, I thew in a few of these sun-dried tomatoe cubes and a few of the garlic paste cubes as well. What a great sauce we had for dinner over whole wheat pasta (my husband and I) and over quinoa (my daughter)! I’ll give you the recipe the next time I make it and can pay attention to the quantities enough to report on them here.
A few more things…
Sundried Tomato Flavor Cubes – Winter Version
Ingredients (Winter Version; also large quantity)
1, 2-pound jar of sundried tomatoes in olive oil (Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes from Costco)
3 tablespoons Penzeys Spices Pasta Sprinkle
1 tablespoon Penzeys Spices Aleppo pepper
1/4 cup plus two tablespoons good quality flavorful extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a full-size food processor (mine is the 11-cup size and it acommodates all the ingredients at one time) fitted with the metal blade, place all the ingredients and process to the consistency of a paste/spread.
Fill 3 silicone mini-muffin pans with this Sundried Tomato paste/spread. I like to fill the mini muffin cups with differing amounts of this wonderful paste/spread so that I have different sizes to choose from later when they’re frozen. Freeze until solid. Then pop the mini muffins into a plastic bag and store in the freezer.
A few of the ways that I use these Sundried Tomato Flavor Cubes
- Mixed with Monamifood Sauted Herb Flavor Cubes
- Mixed into Monamifood Pasta Sauce or store-bought pasta sauce that needs more “umph”
- Added to almost any vegetable soup you are improvising
- Spread on toast with a little goat cheese for an appetizer
- Spread on bread for sandwiches
- Mixed into hummus and stuffed into hard cooked egg whites.
- I even added some to the hot and sour soup I made the other day — making it more Thai than Chinese. The result was great! It did not matter at all that there were some Italian herbs in my hot and sour soup! So don’t let convention stand in your way – experiment!
Enjoy and be healthy!