Beating the Heat Proveçal-Style

It’s cold food time in this household, kittens. Heat waves make me cranky and tired and our BBQ is out of commission so the name of the game is no-cook or low-cook meals.

In these dire times (while I long for soups and stews and leggings and sweaters), I turn to whatever that family of foods is that is both condiment and it’s own damned thing that is delicious on and in whatever you put it. Stuff that brings a lot of flavour AND nutrition to the party. I’m talking about stuff like hummus and pico de gallo, and guac, but mostly tapenade. 

There are oodles of ways of going about making this dish “properly”, including adding anchovies (which are nice and all, but tend to over-power) or doing it all with a mortar and pestle (and I love my mortar and pestle because I feel oh so witchy when I use them, but come oooooooon – sometimes a food processor beats tradition), but I tend to toss most of those to the wind. 

My kind is totally vegan and goes together in five minutes flat.

What you need:

  • 1 375 ml can of pitted, black olives
  • 1 cup loosely packed parsley
  • 3 tbsp capers
  • 1 tbsp caper brine 
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic*
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg

What you do:

  1. Toss everything but the olives into a food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add the olives and pulse until your desired consistency is reached. I like mine to have a little chew, but closer to smooth. Grainy, I guess. Many like it chunkier. You do you.

Sexy stuff, yes?

Don’t let looks deceive you. This shit can take a sandwich or a triscuit with a slice of tomato from meh to holy-crap-put-more-in-me in 2.2 seconds, flat.

As with most of this family of food things, it’s best to make it a day in advance to let the flavours blend, but I can never resist doing something with it right away, like licking the spatula.

Or tossing it on a sandwich.

That’s tapenade, smoked turkey, havarti, and broccoli sprouts on ciabatta and so, so delicious.

Tapenade is also amazing spread on toasted pitas or baguette, as a topping for baked potatoes, tossed with pasta, grape tomatoes, and goat cheese for a warm or cold side dish, and so many more things.

It’s kinda the perfect thing to whip together if you have unexpected guests or need a thing to nibble while you sip wine on the porch.

It will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for a couple of weeks, but I doubt it will last long enough to worry about.

*I know I am typically all about all the garlic, but trust me on this: too much will overpower and screw it up. 3-4 cloves is perfect.


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