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Monday, August 9, 2010

Tapenade: A Love Letter

We love black-olive tapenade, especially in the summer, when produce is abundant and as often as not we eat dinner off the grill. Originally hailing from Provence, this pungent olive paste dresses up pasta, grilled vegetables, bruschetta—anything that can benefit from a wallop of Mediterranean flavor.

Not so long ago, we never would have considered making our own tapenade, for the same reason we don't make cherry pies—the prospect of laboriously pitting a couple of cups of stony fruit is overwhelming. (We bought a cherry pitter a few years ago and managed, after great effort, to successfully pit about three cherries; the pitter went into our Worthless Gadget drawer, where it now lives with the garlic peeler and the egg poacher while awaiting its final trip to Goodwill.)

Fortunately, companies like Trader Joe's and others now sell reasonably priced pitted calamata olives, so it's easy to make our own tapenade. Last year Guest Blogger Paul Spring provided this excellent recipe for homemade tapenade, and it's worth repeating, given the ripe tomatoes on the market right now.

Last night we mixed a couple of tablespoons of tapenade with a quarter-cup of olive oil, a tablespoon of sherry vinegar, salt, and pepper. Drizzled over sliced tomatoes and basil, it made an excellent light dinner.

1 comment:

  1. Nice! Cup of're good to go.