Shortly after returning home from our adventure in South-Eastern Ontario I received a request from the new couple (still kickin it in Newfoundland) for the tapenade recipe that appeared at their wedding dinner.
Now, back in Gan I kind of winged it, but do not fear newlyweds! I have a recipe! Like a Platonic Form all of my tapenades spring from a single perfected recipe that I may or may not have stolen from a Jamie Oliver book many years ago.
The term “tapenade” comes from Provencal, France and refers to a paste of finely chopped or pounded capers, olives and oil. NERD TIME: The word is itself a riff on the French word for caper, leading us to believe that back in the day there was a hell of a lot more capers in the average Frenchman’s diet. The idea of making a pesto (literally “paste” or “pounded”) came way before from the ancient Romans who had a multitude of these spreads and dips. One such paste resembles the later French tapenade with heaps of capers and olives mashed together with a fermented fish sauce called Garum.
On the modern dinner table, I like to contrast pesto’s bright, fresh, herbal flavour with tapenade’s dark, funky, earthiness by serving ‘em side by side with grilled veggies, flat bread, cheeses or mixed into a couple different types of pasta.
Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade (Makes 1 ½ cups, Serves a boatload)
- 1 cup (142g) Black Olives (pitted and sliced)
- 6 Large Sundried Tomatoes (sliced and preserved in oil, 80g total)
- 1 ½ Tbls. (8g) Brined Capers (drained and rinsed)
- 2 Large Garlic Cloves (sliced, 18g total)
- 2 Tbls. Fresh Parsley (4g, chopped)
- 1 Tbls. (15ml) Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 cup (250ml) Olive Oil
Combine the olives, tomatoes, capers, garlic, parsley and vinegar with 1 tbls (15ml) of the tomato oil in a food processor and pulse until it forms a dense, chunky paste. Keep the blade running and slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the paste thins out to your desired consistency; keep it thick if you want to serve it more like a dip or spread and thin it out if drizzling or if pasta is involved.
Music To Pulse To:
Emancipator – Dusk To Dawn Remixes