Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tapenade: the other bagel spread

One of the things about a tiny kitchen is that, by extension, everything else in the kitchen must be tiny. Tiny stove, tiny sink, tiny fridge. A tiny fridge isn't necessarily a problem if you happen, as we do, to love fresh fruits and veggies: in one day and out the next. However, if you also have an obsessive love of condiments, as we do, your fridge space is drastically compromised by the sheer bulk of all those seductive, candy-for-salt-junkies spreads, add-ons, and pastes. Oyster sauce? Sure, we need that! Sauerkraut, kimchi, chow-chow, and Asian slaw...which all happen to be in quart-sized jars? Absolutely! We really just don't know how to say no.

However, true creativity can come from limitations. "John, the broccoli just won't fit anywhere...really." This is when you pull out some odds and ends and get creative. A couple containers of olives may not seem to take up much room until you open the fridge and a bottle of PBR falls out on your toes. And the great thing about tapenades is that you don't need a recipe. All you really need is olives and some various other culinary accoutrements. No need for heat--slap it in the food processor. Season, as always, to taste.

Olive Tapenade

--olives, about a cup, preferably pitted, but, if not, smash with a meat tenderizer or under the broad side of a knife (I used picholines and cured olives)

--3 cloves garlic

--1 T. capers

--juice of 1 lime (or 1 T. lemon juice)

--a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, to reach desired consistency

Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until a paste is formed. Voila--a non-dairy bagel topping. Easy peasy.

**Note: I also considered using some sort of booze to add flavor to this, and then realized that I had none. Don't let this stop you from trying it. I also thought of red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar. I would imagine that countless herbs and spices would work here too.

1 comment:

Camille Cody said...

Sounds fantastic! Olives don't usually make their way into my fridge, but this is inspiring! And blended spreads/dips like hummus and pestos are SO up my alley.
Nice post.