Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tomato-Olive & Fresh Herb Relish

This delicious fresh relish has evolved over the years from a few recipes I used to make. The original sauce was actually served warm from the pan the fish was cooked in, but when the tomatoes are flavorful I like to serve it uncooked so the ingredients are fresh and vibrant.

It is wonderful on fish, chicken, chops , spread on grilled toasts, or mixed with pasta for a light and refreshing sauce.

It's terrific with halved cherry tomatoes. Swap out green olives for the black olives (I used Nicoise olives, but Kalamatas are really good, too. If you don't have pitted olives, just smash the olives with the flat side of a wide knife blade; the pits will come out easily.) Use whatever fresh herbs you happen to love. Substitute red wine vinegar for the lemon juice if you prefer. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled, etc.

Tomato-Olive & Fresh Herb Relish

2 medium tomatoes, finely diced to equal about 1 cup (I cut the tomatoes in half, remove the seeds and gel and discard before dicing the tomatoes)
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped ripe olives
1 Tablespoon capers, rinsed (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
A generous tablespoon of your favorite herb, chopped (or just use the tender leaves)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper
1 large garlic clove, minced

Gently stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until well combined. Use immediately, or store in refrigerator until serving time.
You can make this up to one hour prior to serving (covered and refrigerated), but much longer than that and the sauce loses it's delightful fresh flavors.