Saturday, August 28, 2010

I Made Tapenade. I Have No Bread. Now What?

Kalamata Tapenade
Two weeks ago, I bought pitted Kalamata olives. I had visions of creating sandwiches of sliced mozzarella, fresh basil, tomatoes and tapenade, and eating them for lunch at work. I also pictured myself hard-cooking some eggs to bring for breakfast, instead of paying 95 cents each for them at the deli. Oh, what dreams were these? I have yet to evolve beyond microwaveable containers of leftovers in the bag-lunch game.

I skipped Bikram yoga today. I had cocktail time while my husband slept on the couch after work. And then I decided to finally make that tapenade.

Usually tapenade gets spread all over some toasty sliced baguette. Now I do have some bread around, but not the kind you'd toast and spread with olives. I have various kinds of naan, sliced white and wheat, everything bagels, kaiser rolls, and waffles. Breakfast bread, lunch bread and dinner-scooping bread. But no appetizer - 6pm - happy - hour type bread. So I put it on crackers and tried to think of ways to make it more interesting. 
Tapenade and goat cheese on a cracker: creaminess balancing the salty and crunch.

 Thick cut tomato, topped with basil, tapenade and Parmigiano Reggiano: this one didn't work so well, the parm is too salty and firm, and there was no crunch.

 Cracker beneath basil, thin sliced tomato, tapenade and pine nuts: tomato and basil balance the salt and crunch, pine nuts add another element of crunch. Add goat cheese to this one and it's the winner.



Kalamata Olive Tapenade

3/4C Kalamata Olives, pitted
1/4C Olive Oil
1 T fresh Oregano leaves
1 clove garlic (about the same size as an olive)
1/8 tsp kosher salt (optional)
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

Place all ingredients in a small food chopper, or the small bowl attachment of a regular food processor. Pulse a few times until garlic is fully chopped. It should look like a chunky paste.

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