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Cherry Tomatoes with Olives
(recipe, Nigella Lawson)
Where do I start with this? You can see at a glance that this is extraordinarily simple, but the full-on flavors have a gratifying complexity that is not reflected in either the length of the ingredient list or the time and technique needed to make it. Moreover, it easily lends itself to being turned into a sauce for pasta (in which case, consider adding some shredded or diced mozzarella) or for meat and also fish.
My own preferences are markedly — as ever — for the less than ubiquitous oil-cured pitted olives, but you could use any pitted (or unpitted, for that matter, if your guests are forewarned) black olives you wanted. I also feel the floral scent of the pink vermouth is the best balance for the acid tang of the tomatoes, but am not troubled unduly by the idea of using either red or white vermouth in its place.
And have I said, by the way, how great this is, eaten alone, not to accompany anything, but just with a hunk or three of bread to dunk in it, too?
- 3 Tbsp. garlic-flavored oil
- 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 lb. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup Martini or Cinzano Rosato
- ⅓ cup oil-cured pitted black olives
- 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Put the garlic-flavored oil and chopped rosemary into a thick-bottomed, nonstick wok or wide, heavy pan that comes with a lid, and put it on low to medium heat to warm up, letting the rosemary sizzle fragrantly in the oil for 30 seconds.
- Add the halved cherry tomatoes and cook, stirring gently, for about 1½ minutes, by which time the tomatoes will start softening and oozing their viscous juices.
- Add the pink vermouth and bring to a bubble, then clamp on a lid and let it cook away for a further minute. Remove the lid, stir in the olives, and let it bubble uncovered for another minute, letting the juices reduce a little.
- Stir in most of the parsley and season to taste, then pour into a warmed serving dish, leaving it to stand for 10 minutes if you can, as the juices will thicken and the flavors mellow. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and serve.