Tapenade



Ingredients


500 g kalamata olives, pitted (see Hints and tips)
100 g capers, rinsed
100 g anchovy fillets
200 ml olive oil

Method:


1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. or chop and then pound in a mortar and pestle, leaving the oil until last.

2. store, covered with a thin layer of oil, in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

HINTS AND TIPS:




* You will needfood processor or mortar and pestle, weight and liquid measures, plastic spatula, cook’s knife (optional) and jar for storage.

* Pitting olives is as simple as squashing the olives either with your fingers and removing the pit or by placing the olive on a cutting board and squashing it with the base of a glass or bottle, then removing the
pit.

* Tapenade can be made using large green olives. Any style of olive can be used, just make sure that olives kept in a brine are soaked for 30 minutes in cold water before using to remove the salty flavour. However, don’t buy pitted olives, especially the Spanish variety; they will not lend enough flavour and you will be disappointed.

* The capers should be rinsed under cold water and squeezed dry in the hand to get rid of the briny taste.

* The addition of 2 teaspoons seeded mustard to the above recipe after blending is recommended.

* 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar can be added for extra kick in the tapenade.

* To sweeten and add body to the mixture, add 1 cup chopped dried figs.

* Try adding chopped leaves from a sprig of thyme to the blended mixture.

* Mince or chop 1 garlic clove and add before blending the mixture.

* In some recipes, the addition of 100 ml dark rum or brandy can replace 100 ml olive oil.

* A little goes a long way. Smear a thin layer of tapenade on a piece of bread, taste and adjust the amount according to personal taste.

* Tapenade is often served as an accompaniment or appetiser with chargrilled flat bread or sourdough bread.

* As a stir-through pasta sauce, try adding an extra clove of minced garlic and a cup of Italian tomato sauce (sugo casa) then stir into the cooked pasta before topping with torn flat-leaf parsley leaves.

* For an easy pasta sauce add tapenade and tinned tuna in olive oil to hot pasta. Sprinkle with some fresh oregano and finish with some crumbled fetta cheese.

* Smear some tapenade mixed with equal parts ricotta under the skin of a roast chicken before baking in the oven.

* Spread tapenade on round  routons or bruschetta then top with your favourite ingredients to serve as a light lunch or dinner starter.

* Tapenade can be used on a pizza base rather than tomato sauce.

* Serve tapenade as part of an antipasto plate.

* Press out small rounds of puff pastry with a 5-cm pastry cutter, brush with tapenade, top with a slice of potato, sprinkle with dried rosemary and flaked salt and bake for 15 minutes at 180ÂșC.

* Add chilli to taste or juice of ½ lemon. You can also add ¼ cup roasted mushrooms or ¼ cup sundried tomatoes (finely chopped).

* Substitute black olives for green olives and replace the anchovies with ¼ cup ground almonds.

* Substitute the anchovies with 50 g tinned tuna..

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