I’ve recently started getting into olives. This happened when I saw some cute little olive and cream cheese penguins when I was looking for hors d’oeuvre ideas for Christmas. When I saw those, I thought that they were the cutest most disgusting food ever, but I did eventually try some black olives and they were rather flavorful. I guess I’ve turned, and stepped over to ‘the other side’. *cue evil sniggers*
Anyway, I’ve made tapenade a couple of times now, and have experimented with different olives that I found at our local olive bar. So far, my favorite olive is the Spanish arbequina olive, which has a slightly smoky flavor. However, that one didn’t quite work in the tapenade for me. So, I’ve stuck to mostly Greek black olives (kalamata/gaeta/atalanta etc), with slight variations. I also like the Spanish empeltre olives because I like the slight hint of sherry in them.
Initially, I made the olive tapenade just as a dip for some crackers, but I eventually realized that they are good for many things. I’ve (so far) used them as a steak marinade and also doused them over some steamed green beans – delicious, if you were wondering – and I bet I can find many other uses for the tapenade in my cooking.
What have you used tapenade in?
- 3-4 pimento-stuffed manzanilla olives
- 4-5 kalamata olives
- 3-4 gaeta olives
- [optional] 3-4 empeltre olives
- ~ 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 6-8 fresh basil leaves
- 1 stalk green onion
Remove the pits of all olives, and place the olives and all the ingredients in a food processor.
Process until desired consistency. (I like not completely blended because I enjoy the texture of having small bits of olives.)
Serve with toast, or use it in your other recipes!
* Do you have a recipe that you use tapenade in? Please share it with me!