“The olive tree is surely the riches gift of heaven.”
It’s not surprising to know that olives and their oil are a key component of the Mediterranean diet, which is considered among the world’s healthiest.
I have really acquired a taste for olives. It started on holiday in Majorca. I noticed the locals, sitting in the shade, eating olives when they were having a late afternoon drink. That was good enough for me! From then on, whenever I had a cold beer, chilled white wine or a refreshing glass of sangria, I also ordered a side dish of olives….delicious!
At home, I always add chopped olives to tuna, chicken and fresh salads. I love olives in pasta and on pizza; they are great with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and fresh herbs, but one of my favourite, easy to make recipes, is Olive Tapenade. Tapenade is wonderful on fresh bread and oatcakes, it’s an ideal starter or for a light lunch; just add some fresh salad.
It’s a perfect base for those savoury flans and puff pastry.
Olive tapenade is so good and very easy-to-make. It can be used as a dip, spread, or topping for fish, meat and poultry. To make it, put pitted olives in a food processor with olive oil, garlic, and your favorite seasonings. I add lemon for that extra zing and fresh thyme for its aromatic scent. Capers and anchovies may sound like overkill, but they can really add the punch of flavour that makes this tapenade so addictive and leave you and your guests wanting more.
Let’s get started…
- 1 clove of garlic
- Juice of a lemon
- 3 tbsp capers, chopped
- 6 anchovy fillets, chopped
- 250g black pitted olives
- Small bunch of fresh parsley or thyme
- 2-4 tbsp basil infused oil
- Salt and black pepper for seasoning.
- To make a rough textured tapenade, simply mix all the ingredients together, adding enough olive oil to form a paste.
- For a smoother texture, tip the garlic, lemon juice, capers and anchovy into a food processor and process for about 10 seconds.
- Add the olives and fresh herbs and the olive oil and blend again.
- Season to taste if necessary.