Olive Tapenade Goodness

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Last week at work we had a little wine reception at our office. When things finally settled down, I was able to sample some of the hors d'oeuvres provided by the caterer. Making its way around the room was a tray of crostini topped with creamy goat cheese and black olive tapenade.

Those that know me well know that to say that I'm a picky eater is an understatement (unless the food is "fancy" and expensive...then I'll eat anything put in front of me). I happen to hate olives. But when one is hungry at the end of a long day, one will sample almost anything outside of his or her comfort zone. After about 10 helpings of tapenade, I guess you could say I was smitten.

Since I couldn't get the tasty goodness off my mind, I found this Food Channel recipe and on Sunday tried my hand at tapenade. The results were too delicious for words.

First, I gathered my ingredients at Whole Foods. I already had a good quality olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, dried oregano and fresh thyme in my kitchen. So all I needed to purchase was as baguette (I grabbed a whole wheat one), capers, olives, goat cheese, and anchovy paste.

I threw everything into my food processor (minus the goat cheese and baguette!). I had wanted to make a black olive tapenade like I had sampled at the party. However, when I opened up my olives I saw that they were a dark green color. I'm olive illiterate so I have no clue if there's a huge taste difference with what I bought and what I meant to buy. Ah well. Moving on...

I blended everything up until it was nice and smooth. The recipe I was following didn't use a food processor and just chopped everything up by hand for a chunkier tapenade. I prefer the blended version.

I sliced up the baguette and toasted the slices on a skillet with some olive oil. After spreading some goat cheese on each one, I topped each with a spoonful of tapenade. Divine! My tapenade tastes exactly like what I sampled last week.

This recipe makes a good quantity: Steve and I have already worked our way through 3/4 of our baguette and still have a good amount of tapenade left. Since I have some plain (and deliciously homemade) angel hair pasta in the fridge, I plan on tossing it with some of the tapenade for dinner tonight.

Olives, you have officially won me over with your goodness.

Olive Tapenade
Recipe from The Food Channel

    1 cup pitted black olives, roughly chopped
    1 tablespoon capers, chopped
    1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
    Juice of 1/2 of lemon
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme plus additional for garnish
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/4 cup olive oil plus additional for brushing on bread
    2 packages goat cheese, softened
    1 baguette cut diagonally in 1/2-inch slices

Combine olives, capers, anchovy paste, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, oregano and 1/4 cup olive oil. Either chop ingredients by hand and combine, or use your food processor for a smoother tapenade.

Brush one side of bread with olive oil. In large sauté pan, toast oiled side of bread over medium heat. Spread softened goat cheese on toast side of bread; top with olive mixture and sprinkle with thyme.


Katie said...

I loves me some olives and tapenade is like Heaven on a plate! I'll also pretty much eat anything with goat cheese on it too. Sounds yummy (except the anchovy paste- yuck!)

BigAppleNosh said...

Hrmmm... like you, I despise olives in almost all cases. But if this won you over, I might have to give it a try :)

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