Years ago when I lived in Chicago, there was a natural foods store that competed against Whole Foods and for what ever reason that is where I shopped for my organics and natural foods. They had this incredible spread made with sun-dried tomato and some cheese as well as other ingredients, and it was so incredibly good. A container of this spread was always in my fridge. The flavors were intense and rich and creamy and absolutely delicious. Then Whole Foods bought this chain of stores, closed them all and the spread disappeared, never to be seen again. I know it is only food, but that was incredible. So a made a plan.
Ever since then I have tried to recreate it. I am not sure if I ever got there. And now it has been so long that I can not remember exactly how the spread tasted. I just have this memory of this spread and a memory of these intense flavors, and that is what I work from each time I try to make this. I think I nailed it this go around. It is not like any of my other attempts, and quite frankly, I love this spread as I made today. From now on, this is the only way I will make it. The flavors or intense and powerful just like I remember.
Of course, this is not really a tartar as it is not raw meat. But it kind of looks like a tartar, so that is why I named it such.
Sun-dried Tomato & Provolone “Tartar”
Super Quick and Easy to Make
8-ounce wedge Sharp Provolone Cheese
2 cups Sun-dried Tomatoes in olive oil and Italian Herbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces Cream Cheese, cut into 2-ounce pieces
Fresh Basil for garnish
Break the provolone cheese into chunks and place in your food processor bowl with a cutting blade. Pulse the cheese until crumbled into small pellets. Add the minced garlic and pulse. Add the 2 cups of sun-dried tomatoes. Process until all the tomatoes, and the cheese is well blended and fairly uniform. Add in the cream cheese, 2 ounces at a time until well blended. Keep adding the cream cheese until you have blended it all.
Remove the spread from the food processor and place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. It can also be made the day before.
About an hour before serving, remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Serve as part of an antipasto platter or as a stand alone appetizer with crackers or sliced baguette. If you want to try something really different, roll some of the spread into a basil leaf. Talk about a POW in your mouth!
Download a PDF of the Recipe Here: Sun-dried Tomato & Provolone Tartar
I use Bella San Luci Sun-dried Tomato. It is widely available and always not notch.
I also used the Bel Gioioso Sharp Provolone Cheese. It packs the punch that this spread needs.
The Avocado Butter served at my Tarragon dinner is a great second spread to serve at the same gathering/meal. The contrasting colors would be pleasing to the eye.
That is all for now.