Sunday, May 23, 2010

Olive Tapenade

For my first dinner party, I served my no-knead bread bread with tapenade, a French olive spread that I first tasted when I visited France in the 8th grade. We were visiting family friends, and when we sat down to lunch, the first thing they served us was bread with olive tapenade. My whole family fell in love with it. Well, we did not realize at the time that the French serve their meals in courses, and so we just kept eating and eating the tasty tapenade until it was gone. Imagine our surprise, when our friends brought out the second course! :) This recipe, adapted from that on from Wolfgang Puck), is the closest I have come to replicating that ever so tantalizing tapenade that I first tasted in France. Enjoy!
Black and Green Olive Tapenade, adapted from
1 10 ounce jar Ni├žoise olives, pitted
1 cup small green French olives (Picholine), pitted
1/4 cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes , drained
1 garlic clove
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Combine all of the ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor.

Pulse a few times until mixture is coarsely chopped and well-blended. Turn on the food processor and slowly stream in the olive oil until completely mixed in and the mixture is uniform. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

One word about the olives: make absolutely sure that the olives you buy are pitted! I did not; I only realized when my food processor sounded as if it was about to break down! Much to my chagrin, I had to pick all of the pits out of the tapenade and re-process it. However, once I did, the tapenade provided a bright burst of flavor, due to the fresh olives from my grocery store's olive bar and the fresh herbs from our garden. Any leftover tapenade make for a great sandwich spread or even just a quick snack with crackers. I have a huge amount leftover, so I know what I'm having for lunch today :)


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