Tapenade is a thick paste of olives, anchovies, garlic, and a combination of herbs and seasonings. It originated in the Provence region of France, but its popularity has spread throughout southern Europe, and it is now made everywhere that olives are grown. The paste can be smooth or chunky, but we prefer a mixture with some texture. Processing the topping in a blender or food processor in place of the traditional mortar and pestle makes for a quick and easy tapenade. Serve with a basket of crostini, small slices of toasted bread that have been brushed with olive oil, to top with the tapenade.
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 anchovy fillet
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup green olives, pitted
- One 6-ounce jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 4 to 5 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained, chopped
- 3 tablespoons toasted walnut pieces, chopped
- 1 tablespoon green peppercorns packed in brine, drained
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, preferably fresh
- 1 teaspoon minced lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 6 slices day-old Italian or country style bread, sliced ¾ inch thick, toasted and brushed with olive oil
Place the garlic and anchovy in a bowl and mash with the back of a spoon to make a paste, adding a little of the oil if necessary.
Place the garlic paste, remainder of the oil, olives, artichokes, tomatoes, walnuts, green peppercorns, lemon juice, and zest in a blender or food processor and pulse to make a chunky paste.
Combine the paste with the black pepper and cheese in a bowl and stir to mix. Allow the tapenade to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to blend the flavors. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Add the parsley, put in a bowl, and serve with the crostini on the side.