Okay, so it’s probably not the best tapenade in the world, but it is really good! Most tapenades (all, maybe?) include olives and capers. These are bold and briny flavors. This tapenade tempers those flavors with roasted garlic, smokes it up with some paprika, spices it up with green peppercorns and cayenne, and mellows it out with nuts and honey. Complex, but really tasty, and oddly addictive.
This song, Bob Marley’s wonderful Hypocrites, might seem an odd choice, but I swear, every time I hear it, it seems to me he’s saying “Tap for tapenade.” So when I think about tapenade, I get this song stuck in my head!
Bob Marley – Hypocrites
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cup almonds (in an ideal world I’d use pine nuts, but they’re a bit of a splurge. If you have them…by all means, use them instead!)
1 clove of garlic
1/3 cup grated parmesan (I use my handy dandy microplane)
1 T capers
1t green peppercorns
1 sprig rosemary
1/2 t. thyme
1/2 t. smoked paprika
cayenne to taste
2 t. honey
2 t. balsamic
1 T olive oil
up to 1/4 cup cold water
loads of black pepper.
1. Toast your garlic clove. What I do is cut it in half, put it on a plate, and put it in my toaster oven. I actually toast it for one cycle, until the inside is soft and the outside is papery and charred. If you don’t have a toaster oven, you could put it in your oven at 450 till it softens up. Be sure to cut it or at least pierce it, though, or it will explode! You can use a raw garlic clove, of course, but it will be more assertive.
3. Chop each olive in half to make sure they’re actually pitted, and then toss them into the food processor with the capers, green peppercorns, cheese, spices, honey, balsamic and olive oil. Whiz it up till it’s all blended.
4. Add water, a little bit at a time until you have your desired consistency.
5. Eat! It’s good on bread or crackers, it goes very well with some savory pies and tarts, good tossed with pasta…the possibilities are endless!