Tapenade, Take Two


A couple weeks ago, Shan took me to Restaurant Depot. He goes fairly often as he owns a Quiznos, but this was my first time. I was having lots of fun feeling like Jack in the Giant’s house, surrounded by bags of onions I could barely lift, gargantuan tins of tomatoes, mayonnaise tubs the size of Zoeya. Shan needed some stuff for the store but let me grab a couple things as well, so I chose a large bottle of sherry vinegar and enormous jars of olives and capers.

I went home to make tapenade to take to a barbecue at my sister’s house. It did not turn out well. I usually make tapenade from olives from the olive bar at Harris Teeter, but these olives were extremely briny so my tapenade turned out unbearably salty (how embarassing! This is why you never make something new for a party but I’m slow to follow advice). Only slightly daunted, I tried again, this time soaking my briny olives in water for a couple days in the fridge, and the result was much, much better. Delicious even.

The first time I used a food processor, and you can too if you don’t have my compulsion to pulse everything into oblivion. I needed to chop mine by hand if I wanted it to have any sort of texture, which I did the second time and it turned out very nicely.


3 c mixed olives
1 tbsp capers, chopped
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
small handful basil, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil

If you are using extremely briny olives, soak in water and keep in the fridge for a day or two (otherwise skip this step). Pit and chop the olives and combine with capers, sherry vinegar, basil, and olive oil.

This is just a basic, basic recipe; you can dress it up by adding shallots, sundried tomatoes, roasted red pepper, different herbs, etc. Perfect as a dip or spread for all your summer barbecues.

I ate leftovers for breakfast – a whole wheat bagel toasted and spread with cream cheese then heaped with tapenade. Heavenly!

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