Max’s dipping sauce for bread

When I was working at the seminary, every Friday I would treat myself to lunch at Max’s around the corner, a literal hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant with Euro-techno pulsing softly in the background and the most incredible Italian food I have ever tasted. Everything on the menu was delicious, and I’m going to try and reconstruct as many as I can over time, but two things especially stood out for me: their heavenly tiramisu, served in a chilled goblet, and the dipping sauce for their bread. Last night, I think I nailed it.

2 campari or plum tomatoes
6 kalamata olives
pinch kosher salt
1 orange
Olive oil

Slice the tomatoes in half and discard as much of the seed and liquid as you can. Using a large/coarse grater, grate the tomatoes into a bowl, discarding the skins, so you have about 1/4 cup of tomato puree. Add the olives and a pinch of salt. Using a vegetable peeler, peel 2-3 curls of orange zest into the bowl as well. Add enough olive oil to cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Serves 3-4 people with slices of warm sourdough, Italian, or French bread.


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