Lemon-Garlic Tapenade with Rosemary plus Baguette Chips

One of the first things served in a real Italian restaurant (not a pizza place), sometimes even before they pour water (!) is Olive Tapenade with either bread or bread sticks. Most people love it….and it’s usually just chopped olives, a little garlic and a green sea of olive oil.

This one is really different and will change your mind about Tapenade…it really changed mine! Try it…betcha, you’ll like it, too!

PS: The Baguette Chips are sensational with the tapenade and are great as a scooper for hummus, salsa, egg salad….I could go on and on, but you SEE the picture!

Lemon-Garlic Infused Olive Tapenade

  • One cup pitted green olives, such as picholine, manzanilla, or cerignola (or pit your own, see note)
  • One cup pitted black olives, such as kalamata or nicoise (see note)
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and dried
  • Kosher salt to taste, if needed

Infuse the olive oil:

Put the olive oil, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and lemon zest in a small saucepan or frying pan, and warm the mixture over moderately low heat for about five minutes (the garlic should appear softened, but not golden.  If it starts to bubble, turn down the heat and remove the pan from the stovetop for a few seconds).  Set the mixture aside until cooled.

Pulse the green olives in a food processor until finely chopped and place in a medium bowl.  Pulse the black olives in the food processor and add to the bowl. Add the capers, almonds and olive oil mixture to the medium bowl, and stir well to combine.  Season with kosher salt, if needed.

Serves 6-8 people

Rosemary Baguette Chips

  • 2 slightly stale baguettes (fresh will work too)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
  • 2 large cloves garlic, put through a press, or minced and smashed to a paste with a fork
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • a sprinkling of kosher salt (about 1/4 teaspoon)

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.  Slice the crust off of the baguettes, then cut into chip-sized pieces.  In a large bowl, toss together the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, and kosher salt.  Transfer the crusts to 2 baking sheets, and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until crispy and golden around the edges.

A Tip from the Toque:  Whole olives usually have a deeper flavor and sturdier texture than pre-pitted ones.  To pit your own,  pound them with a rolling pin or meat mallet.  The pit will come right out.

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