In another life, I would be outdoorsy. I’d enjoy things like camping and cycling and building fires. Instead of being cuddled up under an umbrella at the pool, I’d be belly flopping into the ocean, rolling in the sand, and pulling fish from the water with my bare hands.
I’ve been an indoor cat most of my life and, as a result, have indulged primarily in hobbies that are done from the comfort of my air-conditioned home. Baking, sewing, and Netflixing are among some of my favorite activities, a truth that has been largely influenced by my aversion to bugs and boob sweat. Yes, it’s the indoor life for me, forever and always, but there’s just this one little thing that I wish I was good at.
I really want to be a gardener. In my dreams I have giant square planters filled with vine-ripened tomatoes and herbs and spicy orange peppers. I tend to rows of blackberry bushes with ease and teach my kiddos how to hunt out the ripest fruit. My flower pots are filled with ferns and pansies and geraniums and they even manage to survive a hot weekend without being fried to a crisp. Unfortunately, these are just dreams, and in the real world of green thumbs and black thumbs, I belong to the latter. This is the reality of outdoor Kate.
The older I get (and the longer I continue to pay for my own groceries) the more I appreciate the value of being able to live off the land. My husband and I have an above-ground garden with a few small produce plants that he bought from the store. It’s been a whole month and I have yet to kill anything, although, to be fair, my husband is 100% responsible for any and all work that has been done to it at this point. As far as I’m concerned, I’ll keep our kids (and him) alive if he can remember to weed-eat and water the peppers, okay? Still, I am set on this tiny baby garden of ours producing some killer veggies someday, and when it does, you can bet I’ll be throwing them into all sorts of treats. Like these tomato olive rolls.
The inspiration for these tomato olive rolls came from a bakery treat a friend bought for me a few years ago. It was a soft yeast dough filled with asiago cheese and briny olives, the tomatoes and herbs adding Italian flair and moisture for the filling. Immediately, I set out to make the rolls, and within a few days I had landed a recipe I really liked. Although I’m always fan of yeast doughs, I really wanted another option that wouldn’t require so much waiting time and energy in the kitchen. Enter tomato olive rolls 2.0.
This second round of tomato olive rolls is made with a scone-esqsue dough that is tender and cakey yet pliable enough to roll into pinwheels. I got the idea from that cinnamon roll I told y’all about a while ago, and I’m pleased to say that I was able to tweak my favorite scone recipe to create the dough for these delicious little friends. Let’s talk about how to make them.
For the dough, we start by mixing the dry ingredients. Flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder are stirred together before ice cold butter is cut in. Heavy cream is added to make the dough come together, and we set the whole lot of it aside while we prep the insides.
For the filling, we use two types of finely chopped olives, diced tomatoes, and a blend of asiago and mozzarella cheese. The goods are all layered on top of the rolled out dough with schmear of basil pesto and a sprinkle of herbs. The whole thing gets rolled up in a tight tube and sliced into flat little pinwheels that are ready for baking.
The tomato olive rolls arrive from the oven with a light golden crust and a tight spiral of cheesy tomato goodness. Allow the pastries to set slightly before serving, but keep in mind they are best consumed the day they are made. These tomato olive rolls are perfect summer appetizers for all your outdoorsy (and indoor!) events. Give them a try and let me know what you think! If you have any input on how this indoor gal can get into gardening, I’d love to hear it. I’m set and determined. Happy Friday and Happy Baking!
If you like these tomato olive rolls you should try:
Tomato Olive Rolls
These tomato olive rolls are made with a quick scone-like dough and are filled with asiago and mozzarella cheese, olives, tomatoes, basil pesto, and herbs. Try these summer appetizers today!
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 40
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 20 1x
For the dough:
- 2–1/2 cups (325 gm) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (113 gm) unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks
- ¾ cup (180 gm) heavy whipping cream, cold, plus more for brushing
- 1 large egg, cold
For the filling:
- Two tablespoons prepared basil pesto
- 1/3 cup (70 gm) black olives, diced small
- 1/3 cup (70 gm) green olives with pimentos, diced small
- 2/3 cup (135 gm) small diced Roma tomato, seeded (another large variety is fine)
- 2/3 cup (80 gm) shredded asiago cheese
- 2/3 cup (80 gm) shredded mozzarella cheese
- Baking spray or canola oil spray
To prepare the dough:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Use a pastry cutter or the back of two forks to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until pea-sized clumps are present throughout and the butter is well integrated. In a separate bowl, whisk the whipping cream and egg. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together until a shaggy dough forms. Dump the mixture out onto the counter and knead together just until a dry dough forms- do not overwork the dough. You can add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of cream if your dough won’t come together at all. Cover the dough with a tea towel while you prep your other ingredients, but don’t let it sit out more than 15 minutes.
To assemble the rolls:
- When ready to bake, roll out dough to a 8″x20″ rectangle, about 1/8” thick. Spread basil pesto out evenly over the dough. Sprinkle evenly with olives, tomatoes, and cheese. Finish with pepper, to taste.
- Starting with the widest end closest to you, begin to roll the dough somewhat tightly away from you until you reach the end. When finished rolling, pinch to seal the dough seam at the end. Slice the log into ¾” rounds and arrange them on the sheet pan. Bake in the oven until the crust is golden brown, usually about 20 minutes depending on the size of your rolls. Allow to cool slightly before consuming. Rolls are best eaten the day they’re prepared but can be reheated the following day.