Sunday, July 29, 2012

Olive Tapenade and Olympics

We had Jason’s family over to watch the opening ceremonies this weekend and ended having a semi-Greek style dinner. I get so excited for the Olympics and hate that it is crammed into 2 weeks with so many sports going on at the same time all day that you inevitably miss them. Although I am sure to the host city and atheletes 2 weeks must seem like a long time. Good thing for DVR so I can watch some sports and record others for later. 

Jason's sister is a vegetarian so it took me a bit to figure out what to make but decided on my favorite spinach pie. Another Greek flavor is olive tapenade, which I love, but sometimes it can be too salty when I buy it premade or order it at a restaurant. The best solution is to make it at home where you can control the salt and what you put in it. I find this is something that is really easy to make, essentially you throw everything into the food processor and let it do the work. We had this with triscuits and toasted french bread crostinis.

Olive Tapenade
Yields: 2 cups
Adapted slightly from: Emeril Lagasse

12 ounces pitted black olives, such as Kalamata, Nicoise, or Gaeta (I used kalamata)
3 ounces capers, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves finely chopped
3 Tablespoons chopped parsley
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/3 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil

Combine olives, capers, anchovies, garlic, mustard, thyme, parsley, crushed red pepper, vinegar and lemon juice, and half of the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine well, then allow to process until mixture is coarsely pureed, adding more olive oil as needed to obtain desired consistency. (A thicker product will better suit serving on crostini, whereas a looser consistency will work better as a sauce for pasta or cooked vegetables.) Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, then serve as a dip alongside crusty bread, grilled vegetables or chicken, or tossed with cooked pasta and fresh herbs.

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