This morning, I woke up Jonesing for Tapenade. If, gods forbid, you’re unfamiliar, it’s a classic Provençal dish made with olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil, chopped finely or blended together into a paste.
It’s not only incredibly delicious, it’s silly easy to make and it stores well; this naturally invites one to make a couple varieties and keep them handy when you need a nosh. Just varying the olive in question is a tasty adventure in and of itself.
The now closed Orchard Street Brewery here in Bellingham used to offer a creamy variation with Kalamata olives that I was crazy about, so I’ve recreated that version here; it’s a bit milder on the garlic and anchovy front, as well as having the creamy aspect, so it may well be more palatable to those who think they’ll hate tapenade… I’ve included what I’d comfortably call a classic style for y’all to try as well.
1 Cup pitted black Provençal Olives, pitted
1/4 Cup extra virgin Olive Oil
2 canned, oil-packed Anchovy Fillets
2-3 cloves Garlic
1 Tablespoon Capers
Juice of 1/2 fresh Lemon
1/4 teaspoon fresh Lemon Zest
1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme
A couple twists of fresh ground black Pepper
Creamy Kalamata Tapenade
1 Cup Crème Fraîche
1/2 Cup Kalamata Olives, pitted
1 Tablespoon Capers
1 clove Garlic
Juice 1/2 Lemon
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Zest
1/2 teaspoon Thyme
1/2 teaspoon Anchovy Paste
Couple twists of fresh ground Pepper
Note: you may sub Crèma or sour cream for the Crème Fraîche
For either variation, throw everybody into your robot coup, (AKA, the Quisinart, AKA a food processor). Pulse sparingly until all the ingredients are evenly blended, like a nice, fine dice.
Place in a covered glass bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving, and 4 is better.
Serve Tapenade on fresh baguette slices or with little crudités, (AKA nice raw veggies like celery, carrot, radish, peppers, etc)
If you wanna look very fancy schmancy with little effort, grab some puff pastry or phyllo dough when you hit the grocery.
If you do the puff pastry version, spread a thin layer over a sheet to within a 1/2″ of the edge, then roll two edges up toward the middle. Toss that back into your freezer for about 15 minutes, then pull it back out and with a sharp knife, slice the roll into roughly 1/4″ thick slices. Pop those into a preheated 375 F oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown. They look and taste wonderful and are a breeze to make.
If you go the phyllo route, use 4 or 5 sheets, spread a little tapenade in the middles, wet the edge with a little melted butter and fold them into little triangles. 375 F for about 8 – 10 minutes or golden brown will do the trick.