Saturday 23 February 2013

TOMATOES - Make mine a bloody Mary... and double the dirty. Sunday is the perfect day for you to try the food dept's dirty bloody Mary with green olive grissini, it's one of many ways to use your tomatoes.

Want more of our Italian recipes?
Get your March copy of ABC delicious. magazine on newstands or go to

Tomato and rosemary focaccia with basil oil
The vibrant colours in this focaccia are so Italian, bellissimo!
Make 1 x 32cm focaccia.

500g bread flour
2 teaspoons dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt flakes
300ml warm water
olive oil spray, for greasing
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
400g medley mix tomatoes
extra, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
extra, sea salt flakes, for sprinkling
Basil oil, for serving

1. Combine the flour, yeast and salt in the bowl of a mixer. Using a dough hook turn the mixer onto low and combine the ingredients.
2. Gradually pour in the combined water and oil while the mixer is still running. Increase to a medium speed and ‘knead’ the dough for 5 minutes.
3. Turn the dough onto the bench and lightly oil the mixing bowl with spray, return the dough to the oiled bowl and roll the dough around so that it is coated in oil. Cover with a clean tea towel and allow to stand in a warm place for 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size. A warm windowsill or over a sink of hot water works well if it’s a cool day.
4. Once the dough has doubled in size turn onto the bench and knead for a few minutes until the dough is back to its original size.
5. Pour half of the extra oil into a 32cm ovenproof frying pan. Roll out the dough to the approximate size of the frying pan and lift into the pan. Cover again with a clean tea towel and place back in a warm spot for another 30 minutes until it has again doubled in size.
6. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF). Using your fingers push indents into the dough, covering the surface. Push the tomatoes into the indents, evenly spaced. Brush liberally with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary and extra salt flakes. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and sounds hollow when tapped.
Serve warm with Basil oil.

Basil oil
Makes 1 cup.
2 cups basil leaves, approximately 1 large bunch
1 cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

1. To blanch the basil, place the basil leaves into a heat resistant bowl, pour over boiling water and stand for 10 seconds. Drain immediately and plunge into a bowl or iced water, allow to stand for a few minutes until cold.
2. Drain the basil leaves and thoroughly squeeze out the water, combine with the oil, salt and pepper in a small processor and blend until the basil is pureed.
3. Strain using a fine sieve and store in a clean jar, in the refrigerator for up to a month. Return to room temperature before serving.

food dept. fact: For a more rustic basil oil, leave the oil unstrained.

TFD’s dirty bloody Mary mix 
Makes 4½ cups (6 drinks).

1 litre tomato juice
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons salt flakes
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
juice 1 lemon
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ - 1 teaspoon tobacco sauce, or to taste
1/3 cup brine from green olives

1. Combine all ingredients in a large jug and whisk to combine.
2. Store in the refrigerator until required, for up to 1 week.

TFD’s dirty bloody Mary
Makes 1 drink.

• 2 lemon wedges
celery salt, for glassses
3/4 cup TFD’s dirty bloody mary mix
2 tablespoons vodka
1 stalk cucumber
1. Using one of the lemon wedges, wipe the rim of a glass and dip into celery salt, set aside.
2. Pour the Bloody Mary mix into the prepared glass and top with vodka, garnish with cucumber and remaining lemon wedge. 
Serve with Green olive grissini.

Green olive grissini
Makes 25 sticks.

350g jar green olives, drain and reserve the juice for the TFDs's dirty bloody mary mix
2 tablespoons baby capers in brine, drained
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 sheet frozen puff pastry

1. Preheat oven to 200ºC (400ºF). Combine the olives, capers, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small food processor and process to form a paste.
2. Lay the sheet of puff pastry on its plastic liner onto a chopping board. Using a ruler to guide you and a pizza wheel, cut 1cm strips of the pastry, trying to keep the strips together.
3. Spread 2 tablespoons of the green olive paste onto the sheet of strips. Take each strip and give it 2-3 twists and then place onto a lined oven tray.
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden, remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray. Store in an airtight container.

food dept. fact: Store left over green olive paste in a jar in refrigerator for up to 1 month, use on bruschetta, pizzas or through pasta.

THANK YOU! We would like to thank the generous people at Moratis for supplying us with the fresh, juicy, plump tomatoes for this story.


  1. This is the finest of food porn! LOVE it! Soooo beautiful!

  2. Sounds like perfect brunch munching! My garden is pumping out tomatoes right now, so thanks for some great ideas :)

  3. Sounds fabulous, will try the focaccia out tomorrow thanks for the recipes
    Cilla rule

  4. Gorgeous post. Can't wait to try the dirty bloody mary and olive grissini, they look amazing. Love the idea of horseradish and olive brine - makes it very interesting!

  5. Thanks for this post. Very timely as I've got more tomatoes than I know what to do with! It's been a great season.

  6. I've just found your blog and i love it!!!
    Regards from Barcelona!

  7. The focaccia is very good! But in Italy , in Puglia it is even more!