I love rich and indulgent food. I love butter, heavy cream, all manner of bread, bacon and the like. I also love healthy food. It all depends on what is going on, what’s freshest and what’s available to me. After the holiday food madness, my food pendulum tends to swing a little further toward the healthier food cravings. I’m more likely to have a desperate desire for broiled fish than a buttery chocolate custard. It has nothing to do with resolutions, because I’ve never been a New Year’s resolution girl; that’s just how I am this time of year.
Don’t misunderstand me; my taste buds have not taken a leave of absence. I still want delicious food. This is where I rely on bold flavours that deliver big like this Green Olive Tapenade. Indulge me for a moment if you’re a tapenade-aholic while I dig into what it is for the benefit of those who haven’t yet tried this ambrosia.
Tapenade -in it’s most traditional form- is a spread or dip made of black olives with capers and anchovies. It is served with bread or crackers or added as a fast-and-easy WHIZZBANG flavour component to sandwiches, flat-breads and many other dishes. For instance, I love a light layer of tapenade atop the aforementioned broiled fish. It’s the difference between plain old broiled fish and “Oooooh! Broiled Fish!”
While I am an Equal Opportunity Tapenade Lover, there is a special place in my heart and in my stomach for Green Olive Tapenade. I chalk this up to the fact that I didn’t discover a love of green olives until I was pregnant with my first child. It’s a matter of mathematics. I must make up for time lost NOT eating things with green olives by eating many things with green olives. I believe my physicist baby sister would agree with this theory. Let’s ask her. Airlia? Are you reading this?
My Green Olive Tapenade is extra fabulous for more than one reason, though. While the traditional tapenade is almost entirely made of salty preserved things (Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Believe me, I’ve consumed and will continue to consume more than my share of the stuff…) I like to make mine more exciting with the addition of fresh herbs, garlic, lemon, and flavourful sun-dried tomatoes. It practically sings from the bowl, “I waaaaaaant you to want me. I neeeeeeeeeeed you to need me!”
Please tell me food sings songs from the 80’s to you, too.
In addition to all it’s deliciousness, tapenade has some health benefits. It’s true! Olives are full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. These are the good fats that help control cholesterol and blood sugar. Don’t you love it when great food is great for you?
Now, before I give you this ultimate Make Ahead Monday fabulousness (because once made, the Green Olive Tapenade is good for up to a month when tightly covered in the refrigerator. Tapenade things with wild abandon!) I will put on a dazzling display of mind reading. I sense it deep in my core that the second I said ‘anchovies’ some folks started pulling faces. No nose twitching allowed unless you’re certifiably allergic to fish. Anchovies add that certain je ne sais quois to dishes. Since all the ingredients are chopped or ground together, I defy you to find the presence of anchovy in tapenade. While you won’t be able to say, “A-HA! I taste ANCHOVY!” if you include the wee little fishies, you will most certainly know you’re missing a certain depth of flavour if you omit them. Take the plunge, or your tapenade attempt will sleep with Luca Brasi AND the fishes.
Please make yourself a batch of Green Olive Tapenade. You’re going to want to have it on hand for an impossibly easy and delicious Super Bowl treat I’ll be sharing with you in the next couple of weeks. You really won’t want to miss it!
- 2 cups drained Manzanilla olives with pimientos
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons brined capers + a little of their brine
- 7 anchovy fillets (from a can of packed-in-olive-oil anchovies)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped, oil-packed sun dried tomatoes
- the juice and zest of one whole lemon
- 3 fresh basil leaves
- ½ to 1 small clove of garlic, peeled and minced or pressed
- Add all ingredients to the workbowl of a food processor* (See Note) fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until everything is evenly chopped. You can leave it more coarse for spooning on top of things or grind it up a little more to use as a dip or sauce. It is a matter of personal preference.
Update:The giveaway is now closed. Pick a Giveaway Winner chose Katee L as our random winner. Check your email and congratulations, Katee!
More giveaway fun! Wasa Crispbreads (pictured above with the Green Olive Tapenade) have offered to help kickstart one Foodie with Family reader’s holiday foods reset. The crispbread’s pure, natural grain flavours shine through ready to be topped with anything you wish, whether salty or sweet. Because the crispbreads themselves are not salted, they are a superior choice for serving with salty Green Olive Tapenade and other savoury spreads. My kids also love them topped with cream cheese and candied jalapeños or blueberry jam.
Wasa is giving away the following prize package to one Foodie with Family reader in the United States.
- 1 $25 gift card (That would buy enough ingredients for a VAT of Green Olive Tapenade!)
- 2 packages of Wasa Crispbreads so you can discover your own favourite way to eat them.
How do you enter?
Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment on this post telling me what you do to reset after the holidays. Do you do resolutions? Do you crave healthy foods? Are you still doing holiday activities?
Optional Entries: (Be sure to leave a separate comment for each optional entry method used so we can be sure to count it!)
- Like Foodie with Family on Facebook.
- Follow Foodie with Family on Twitter.
- Follow Foodie with Family’s boards on Pinterest.
- Like Wasa on Facebook.
- Follow Wasa on Twitter.
The winner will be chosen at random and announced here on this post on Wednesday, January 16, 2013. Good luck everyone!
Disclosure: Wasa provided crispbreads for me to review and compensation for my additional ingredients, but all opinions are -as always- my own.