27 January 2015

Vegan Sun-dried Tomato Spread

Long ago, for much of high school and even some early college breaks, I worked at a bagel store called Bruegger's Bagels.* While working in the same place for so long, you get tired of eating the same things over and over, so I would experiment with new foods and food combinations over the years. It helped that while I was working there, Bruegger's started introducing new foods and expanding their menu. One of the new foods I tried was a sun-dried tomato spread. I had never been a big fan of sun-dried tomatoes, and I'm still not, but dang was this spread delicious. As time passed, I stopped working at Bruegger's and then went vegan. Although there's stuff for me to eat there as a vegan, the sun-dried tomato spread is not on that list; it contains cheese and gelatin.

I had essentially stopped thinking about this spread until a ridiculous craving for it hit me.  Luckily, it turns out a vegan version of this is super easy to make and just as delicious as I remember (and without the non-vegan bits). I brought this to school the other day to eat on a bagel sandwich (everything bagel + faux turkey + lettuce + spread = magic). I also shared some with some colleagues over lunch and I was rewarded with rave reviews! Many of them asked that I share the recipe. So, colleagues, here you go!



Vegan Sun-dried Tomato Spread
This spread is modeled after the one found at a farmgirl's dabbles (wherein she also talks Bruegger's).

Ingredients
1, 8.5 oz. jar of sun-dried tomatoes with Italian Herbs in oil
1, 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 T. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 T. olive oil (or reserve 1 T. oil from the jar of tomatoes)

Directions
1. Put everything into a food processor or high-powered blender with a tamping stick. Blend until mostly smooth (or not, if you like chunks). Scrape or tamp down ingredients as needed.


Helpful Hints
  • In a food processor, you may be able to get away without the extra oil. I found that I need it while using my Vitamix. 
  • This makes a bit less than 2 cups of spread, which is a lot if you're not planning to eat it on everything for a week and/or share it with friends and/or your family is addicted to it. If none of these are true for you, then I'd recommend making this for a party. 
  • This is so good spread on a sandwich, but it's also delicious on crackers or Ritz chips (as pictured above) or crispy bread rounds or veggies or tortillas or whatever you'd like. It's just delicious!
* It made me a little bit of a bagel snob. I'm just saying that bagels should be boiled!

The post "Vegan Sun-dried Tomato Spread" originally appeared on Maggie's LesVegan Kitchen.

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