Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Making Tapenade in a Traditional and Quick Method

This chunky olive paste is perfect on toasted bread. Be careful: there’s a fine line between chopped and mushed. Use a high-quality, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil.

2 cups pitted black olives, preferably
Kalamata or niçoise olives
2 garlic cloves, quartered
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 teaspoon stemmed thyme
1⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1⁄2 to 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

The Quick method:
Place all the ingredients in a food processor fitted with the chopping blade; pulse until coarsely chopped.

The Traditional method:
Place the olives, garlic, capers, and thyme on a large cutting board, preferably one with a small trough at the edges. Rock a chef’s knife through the ingredients, rotating the knife slowly so that it cuts everything into small chunks. Gather the mixture together several times and continue chopping until minced. Place in a serving bowl; stir in the olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper.

To store: Spoon into a nonreactive container, cover, and refrigerate for up to 4 days; allow the spread to return to room temperature before using.

Green Olive Tapenade: Substitute pitted green olives, preferably a tart Greek olive, for the black olives.

Roasted Garlic Tapenade: Wrap 4 unpeeled garlic cloves in a small foil packet, then roast in a preheated 400°F oven until soft, about 25 minutes. Squeeze the pulp into the food processor or onto the cutting board before you chop the olives. Reduce the olive oil to 1⁄4 cup and the lemon juice to 1 tablespoon.

Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade: Replace half the black olives with sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and rinsed. Reduce the olive oil to 3 tablespoons.

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