Saturday, March 12, 2011

Olive & Sun Dried Tomato Tapenade

With our first and mostly successful batch of water-cured olives (1 jar of Manzillos/Missions and 1 jar of Arbequinas) from our olive trees, I was wondering what the heck to do with them. Granted, the olives had retained a tad of their bitterness, but, the next time around, we will do two slits in each olive versus one to, hopefully, leach out more of their bitter phenolic compounds. That's what the UC Davis olive curing guide recommends, but we accidentally omitted the second slit due to lackadaisical instruction reading. C'est la vie.

So, whilst brainstorming for olive recipes, tapenade came to mind. Super easy and no cooking required - just a food processor. Tapenade is, I believe, of French (Provence) origin - a great appetizer, typically made from olives, garlic, capers, anchovies, and olive oil. These days, most supermarkets carry some version of this Mediterranean-inspired appetizer. I like the addition of sweet oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes to the olives. Here's my recipe:

2 cups pitted brine-cured black olives (e.g., Mission, Manzanillo, Kalamatas)
1/2 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
1/3 cup oil from sun dried tomatoes
1/3 - 1/2  cup olive oil
2 tsp. blood orange balsamic or just regular balsamic vinegar (optional)
2 tbsp. capers, drained
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped

Sliced baguette or crackers

1. Place olives, garlic & sun dried tomatoes in a food processor (I use the Cuisinart mini), and pulse to coarsely chop. 

2. Add 1/3 cup oil from sun dried tomatoes, olive oil (to taste), capers, basil, parsley, and thyme & blend briefly (do not puree ingredients). 

3. Serve with sliced baguette or crackers.

Basil, Italian parsley, English Thyme, garlic. 

Chop 'em up.

Oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and our very own water-cured & brined Mission/Manzanillo olives. 

It's not hard to pit olives. Just flatten each olive with the blade of a chef's (or other largish) knife and the pit can be removed pretty easily.

1 cup pitted olives, 1/2 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes, 2 tbsp. capers.

Put the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and garlic in a food processor (I used a mini Cuisinart) and pulse until ingredients are coarsely chopped.

Add 2 tbsp. capers, 2 tbsp. chopped basil, 1 tbsp. chopped parsley, 1 tsp. fresh thyme, 1/3 cup oil from sun-dried tomatoes, and 1/3-1/2 cup of olive oil (to taste). Pulse to blend (do not puree). Stir in the balsamic, if using.

Tapenade can be made 2-3 days ahead of serving. In fact, the flavors are better developed after a couple days. Serve with crackers, sliced baguette or French bread.

1 comment:

  1. This seems like such a good recipe! It's always hard to find good olive recipes.