It should have been obvious. I’m sure to most people it IS obvious, but before you jump to the conclusion that I’m frighteningly unobservant, or one of the duller knives in the drawer, consider that I was more than likely preoccupied with charming party conversation while noshing on my tapenade, and most definitely theorizing on something very deep and smart. Ok?
So, tapenade. What is it? Tapenade is a chunky paste made of olives, capers, herbs, garlic, anchovies, and lemon. Tapenade is served on crackers or crusty bread, and can be used as a base ingredient for things like Beef Wellington. It’s salty, flavorful, and ridiculously delicious. Oh, and it’s also SUPER easy to make, as I discovered this weekend.
Like I said, I’ve loved tapenade for as long as I can recall, and for as long as I can recall, I have purchased tapenade in teeny weenie little 3 oz. containers that usually sell for anywhere between $3.00 – $8.00 depending on the neighborhood. But really, all you need are a few pantry items and you can make a HUGE batch of this stuff for a party, family get-together, or a few weeks worth of sandwiches.
The recipe I followed for my homemade tapenade was from Alton Brown via the food network. And the super cute fish bowl I used to display our tapenade was from my sister, via her kitchen.
½ lb. pitted mixed olives (you can buy one 5.5 oz jar of black olives, and one of green, or save a couple of dollars and go for a big scoop of olives from the olive bar at many grocery stores.
2 anchovy fillets, rinsed
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons capers
2-3 basil leaves
1-tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Blend everything in a food processor until the olives are the size of pea gravel. Serve on toasted bread with creamy Brie, salami and a cool and bubbly beverage of your choice preferably out of Tupperware on a blanket at the beach, from an earthenware bowl in a log cabin in front of a crackling fire, or at a black tie event out of a fine crystal bowl. Tapenade is a versatile mistress and welcome at functions. Even when green and Kalamata olives aren’t on the guestless, tapenade is always invited. Isn’t amazing how GOOD your archenemy can taste when ground up?