• 1 7oz jar of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan, asiago and romano cheese blend (I get this from the store in the cheese aisle)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (in addition to whatever is in the jar)

When I was in high school I traveled out to Hawaii with my family and had this really great sun-dried tomato dipping sauce at an Italian restaurant. I guess it’s kind of interesting that I found an Italian recipe in a place that should be more known for its fruit and seafood, but nonetheless it was an amazing addition to my mother’s fridge!

Anyway, I usually keep a bottle of this in my fridge in the summer as it makes a really great dipping sauce for breads or a great spread to add to any sandwich. It’s tangy, sweet and full of health benefits. Sun-dried tomatoes are naturally rich in many nutrients.

Although sun-dried tomatoes are a little on the expensive side, they last for a while. A bottle of this spread lasts me a few weeks (unless the boys find it and put it on everything :) ).

Food fact: Did you know that cooked tomatoes actually provide more lycopene than raw tomatoes? Unlike other vegetables that loose nutritional value when you cook them, cooked tomatoes actually gain more!

Here is a list of the health benefits of sun-dried tomatoes (information taken from Livestrong.com) :

Lycopene

Lycopene belongs to the class of chemicals known as carotenoids. Responsible for giving tomatoes their red color, it is noted for its antioxidant properties. According to MayoClinic.com, higher intakes of lycopene, specifically from tomatoes, are associated with lower incidences of cancer and heart disease. One cup of sun-dried tomatoes contains 24.8 mg of lycopene.

Vitamins

Sun-dried tomatoes are also a good source of antioxidants, specifically the vitamins A and C. One cup contains 9 percent of the daily value for vitamin A and 35 percent of the daily value for vitamin C. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, protecting your cells from damage that can lead to chronic diseases including cancer and heart disease.

Minerals

These dried delights are also abundant in certain key minerals. One 1-cup serving contains nearly 60 percent of the daily value for calcium, needed for strong teeth and bones. Additionally, a cup of sun-dried tomatoes provides 27 percent of the daily value for iron, which is an important part of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells.

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Instructions

  1. Put sun-dried tomatoes with olive oil from jar, additional tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, and three cheese blend into a food processor. Blend together well.
  2. Store in air-tight container. Keeps in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
  3. If you plan to serve as a dipping sauce, pull it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you serve it so the oil has time to un-congeal.

This super simple spread can really knock someones socks off! :)

Happy eats!
@ashkalei

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