With the holidays coming and lots of potential company, I wanted to post this recipe for Kalamata Olive Tapenade. It is one of the favorite appetizers I have made this year. I know that sounds weird for something that looks like I put an octopus in a blender, but if you like Kalamata Olives, this tapenade is amazing. Olives can be a tricky thing. Not everyone agrees, some like green, some black, and then some are allergic to them like my daughter. That is why I decided to put the tapenade out with a variety of other bruschetta type toppings.
I have only recently heard of tapenade so decided to look it up. It is a “savory paste made from capers, olives, and anchovies, with olive oil and lemon juice.” That pretty much sums up what this recipe is, minus the capers plus fresh garlic. I came to a startling conclusion when making this tapenade. I am now an adult. I actually used anchovies in a recipe! Five years ago, this never would have happened. I never would have chosen to make something that contained anchovies, much less eaten it by the spoonful. But somewhere I tasted olive tapenade, and couldn’t believe how delicious it was. At that point I didn’t know there were anchovies in it. I even tried making this recipe without them. And believe me, it was not the same at all. If you are like me, and do not like fishy flavor, you will not even know they are in there. It gives the dip a depth that is necessary.
The olives and anchovies make this a very salty dish. I think that is partly why I like it so much. I know it isn’t for everybody, but if Kalamata olives speak your love language or that of your guests, you need to make this. Put it on a bread board with bruschetta, and some pesto with salami, and everyone will be happy. You might have to reassure them, though, that no octopus was sacrificed in the making of this dish (just tiny little fish). On second thought, maybe you could tell them that on a need to know basis. Not everyone is as grown up as we are!:)
Kalamata Olive Tapenade
2 c Kalamata olives, pitted and drained
- 4 anchovy fillets
- 1/3 c fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- crackers or French bread
- Add anchovies, parsley, garlic, oil, and lemon juice to a food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Pour in drained Kalamata olives and pulse until olives achieve the consistency you like, either more chunky or smooth.
- Use as a dip on crackers, toasted bread, or a condiment for sandwiches.
- Refrigerate up to 3 days.