Thursday, April 12, 2012

When in Doubt, Tampenade

I wound up not having lunch today, and when I got home, I started attacking the giant pile of laundry that was taking over the guest room.  I have friends coming for an overnight visit tomorrow, and there was no room in the inn.  There was hardly any room left uncovered by the clean laundry pile, which explained why I could find nothing in my closet:  it was all on the pullout couch.  After subduing the mountain, and making up the guest bed, I realized I was starving and desperately needed a snack.

Good thing I had whipped up a batch of tampenade yesterday afternoon, and left it to marry in the fridge.  It's great fresh, too, but leave it for a day or two and it becomes even better.  I adore tampenade. It is olive-rich, salty, has a mustardy bite and is simply addictive.  Paired with some chunks of my friend's delightful goat feta cheese, it is heavenly.  Since it is so easy to make, it's a wonder that olive lovers everywhere don't rise up and declare a tampenade revolution.  Yummmm!

Kalamata Olive Tampenade

This recipe makes A LOT, so feel free to share with others or put some in a jar and pop it into a freezer.  Yes, you can freeze tampenade.  It does keep a long time in the fridge, as long as it is in a sealed jar.

You will need:  one 10 ounce jar kalamata olives, pitted and with most of the brine drained; one 12 ounce can each of  ripe green and ripe black olives (I love the Lindsay Naturals line--just ripe olives, sea salt and water); 4 or 5 cloves of garlic; 1/2 cup capers; salt and fresh ground pepper to taste; 2 Tablespoons lemon juice; about 1/2 cup or so of good quality olive oil.  Put all olives, garlic, capers, and lemon juice into your food processor.  Season with pepper and salt (go easy on the salt!), and then hit the "on" button.  As the machine is grinding everything up, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.   Final consistency should be a nice paste, with tiny bits of chopped olive and garlic in it.  Pot into jars or into a sealed container, and allow to sit in the fridge overnight for best flavor.  This goes great on crackers, or as part of a spread on a sandwich.  I love it as a sauce for pizza! 

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