baked chicken thighs with olive tapenade

I don’t like olives at all, but, on the other hand, Chris loves them and  keeps our fridge stocked with some type of olives at all times.  When I stumbled upon a recipe for chicken which incorporates olive tapenade, I knew he would enjoy it so I had to make it for him.  The original recipe calls for roasting a whole chicken and three different types of olives, but I improvised by using what I had on hand – chicken thighs, some canned California green olives, and a big jar of kalamata olives. Continue reading

Feta Cheese and Olive Swirl Bread


I was actually in the middle of making another type of bread when the idea for this came to me. I opened the refrigerator for something and caught a glimpse of the feta cheese. Hmmm! How about a feta cheese and kalamata olive bread? Chris loves this combination so I decided to surprise him. I took just enough dough from the bread I was working on to make this one, but I provided the full recipe below for those of you who might be interested. The recipe for the dough is adapted from a recipe by Sheila Lukins, the author of The Silver Palate Cookbook, but the method I am sharing below is my lazy way to incorporate flavors to dough in an evenly-distributed manner without any additional kneading.

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i say kumato, you say tomato

Kumato tomatoes

I discovered these brown tomatoes at Trader Joe’s the other day. They are called Kumato tomatoes and they have an unusual brownish-reddish appearance. They are firm, juicy tomatoes that are sweeter than traditional tomatoes. The label says that they are distributed and sold exclusively by Trader Joe’s. I was originally drawn to its unusual color and I thought it would make for a unique presentation in a Caprese salad or a bruschetta.

Chris and I have been cooking from scratch lately and we came up with a decidedly un-Fourth of July dinner, using the newly discovered Kumatos – roasted tomato and basil pasta and rosemary-olive bread. Chris made the fresh angel hair pasta and we collaborated on the sauce. I roasted the Kumatos in the oven in olive oil with a little balsamic vinegar and garlic for about 15 minutes. I transferred it to a sauce pan with more olive oil and garlic and added red pepper flakes, parmesan cheese, basil, and salt and pepper.

As Chris was draining the pasta, he saved some of the pasta water so I could add it to the simmering sauce. The starchy water and the olive oil simmered together, forming the base for the sauce. When the sauce was almost done, I added the pasta and mixed it to coat the pasta evenly with the slightly thickened tomato sauce. I seasoned generously with salt and pepper and garnished with more cheese and basil.

For the bread, I made french baguettes again, but this time added rosemary and diced Kalamata olives. From start to finish, it took a few hours to make dinner, but result was a simple and deliciously satisfying meal we enjoyed making together. It was a lovely way to end the holiday weekend.

Pasta with Kumato Tomato Sauce

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