We make an effort to occasionally hit a First Friday at Harrison Center for the Arts. Actually, no, that’s an overstatement; I think we’ve been to two of them in the 7 months we’ve lived here. But it’s not for lack of desire to go; just that one tiny detail of finding and/or paying a babysitter. We took the kids to one of them, and I swore I’d never do it again. Too many people, too late, too grumpy, and too heavy (the building is not stroller-friendly, leaving one of us carrying the 16-month old the whole time).
But THIS Friday — this is Food Con. And we’re both going. Tim is going in an official capacity, doing a presentation for his office, the Center for Urban Ecology. I would say I’m going to show my support of his participation, but really I’m going because it’s about food. In Indiana. Two things in which I have great interest.
One of the things they are doing is having the participants create an appetizer to share with the 800 or so people who will be in attendance. Each table will have a card to give out, with the recipe for the app on the backside. Since Tim was in charge of the recipe for his office, he enlisted my help, requesting the spread below — one of his favorites. I adapted it from the original so the recipe could utilize frozen tomatoes (trying to emphasize local, and most folks are more likely to have frozen rather than home-canned tomatoes from last summer’s garden). Since the choice of tomato will change the salt requirements, I start out with a reduced amount, adding more to taste if needed. I’ve been meaning to blog about this spread for a while now, since the recipe is requested — seriously — every time I serve it. It’s incredibly easy, and great for a last-minute appetizer, since the ingredients tend to be ready-stocked in the pantry.
If you’re a local, hope to see you at Food Con — go by the table for Butler’s CUE, tell Tim hello, and get a sample of today’s recipe. I’ll probably be lurking nearby.
(adapted from Everyday Food)
- 3/4 cup almonds
- 1 pound frozen plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded, thawed (or 1 14-0z can whole tomatoes)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 350º. Spread almonds on a rimmed baking sheet, and toast in oven until fragrant and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
Drain tomatoes in a colander (if using canned, gently squeeze tomatoes to remove seeds). Add tomatoes to food processor along with cooled almonds, garlic, paprika, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and red pepper flakes. Process until nuts are finely ground and mixture is combined. Scrape down bowl. With food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil, and process until a paste forms.
Serve with crackers or toasts.