I firmly believe that the best foods have the simplest ingredients. Bread made with flour, yeast, and salt. Tomato sauce made with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil. Strawberries and bananas dipped in melted dark chocolate. The fewer ingredients, the better, and if you agree, you’ll love this Kalamata Olive Tapenade I made last night.
I had tapenade for the first time when my husband and I were in Paris a few months ago. We popped into a cozy little bistro where the bread was served with tapenade instead of butter, and I’ve been wanting to try making it at home ever since.
It seems a lot of people are decidedly anti-olive, but I for one can’t get enough of them, and I always pick out a new kind to try whenever I go to Central Market. As I’ve mentioned in one or two previous posts, I am head-over-heels in love with David Lebovitz’s recently released cookbook My Paris Kitchen, which has not one but three recipes for tapenade. The one I made last night is very slightly adapted from his recipe for Green Olive, Basil, and Almond Tapenade (p. 53).
- 2 cups of Kalamata olives
- 2 cloves of garlic
- The juice of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon of capers
- 1/3 cup of whole almonds
- 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- Sea salt
- Put the olives, garlic, lemon juice, capers, and almonds in the bowl of a food processor.
- Roughly tear the basil leaves and add them to the bowl.
- Pulse several times, scraping down the sides as needed, to start breaking down the ingredients.
- Add the olive oil all at once along with a dash of sea salt and pulse several more times until you’ve achieved a coarse paste. It shouldn’t be smooth like hummus—you should have a few chunks of almonds throughout.
Serve with sliced French bread, vegetables, crackers, etc. Or just eat it with a spoon ’cause it’s so damn good.