Tapenade is a superb accompaniment with bread at the dinner table, or spread on crackers, toasted pita or crostini for hors d’oeuvres or snacks. Makes a great spread for sandwiches too. Lovable, indeed!

Classic Tapenade
Recipe type: Appetizers
Serves: 10 to 12
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2 pound pitted imported black olives; (1 1/2 Cups)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons capers; rinsed, drained
  • 4 anchovy filets (to 6)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil; or more
  • freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Cognac; (optional)
  • chopped fresh herbs or sprigs; for garnish
  1. If the anchovies are salt-packed, soak them for about 5 minutes in water and drain.
  2. Turn on a food processor and drop in the garlic. When it is chopped, turn off the machine and scrape down the sides.
  3. Add the olives, capers, anchovies, thyme, rosemary and mustard. Blend together until fairly smooth.
  4. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, a generous grinding of pepper and the Cognac and continue to blend until you have a smooth paste.
  5. Scrape the tapenade into a serving bowl and garnish with the herbs. Refrigerate 2 hours until ready to serve.
This recipe yields 1 Cup; 10 to 12 servings.

Each of 12 servings: 33 calories; 374 mg sodium; 4 mg cholesterol; 4 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 2 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 0.58 gram fiber.

Comments: If you prefer, substitute more lemon juice for the Cognac. Serve with croutons or spread on halved cherry tomatoes or other baby vegetables. If you pit the olives rather than buy them pitted, add about 20 minutes to the preparation time.

NOTES : Martha Rose Shulman is the author of "Mediterranean Light" and "Provencal Light" (both published by William Morrow)

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