Talk about versatile. I made this as a tapenade to spread on crackers with a cocktail but then ended up using it in a variety of ways. It couldn’t be easier and especially so if you have a food processor– just throw in the ingredients, pulse and you’re done.
As I mentioned, it is lovely on a cracker or toasted baguette. But it is also delicious alongside a piece of pork tenderloin, rubbed under the skin of a chicken before it is roasted, served with that same chicken after comes out of the oven, or even with lamb.
This recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes, by David Tanis. He has a simpler tapenade but suggests this version if you like a little more tap in your tapenade. He serves it with Roast Leg of Lamb with Flageolet Beans and I just served it anywhere I could.
from A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes by David Tanis
1 cup oil-cured Moroccan olives, pitted
I cup Niçoise olives, pitted
2 teaspoons capers, well rinsed
2 small garlic cloves, smashed to a paste with a little salt
Finely chopped zest of half a small lemon
Juice of 1 small lemon
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
2 anchovy filets, well rinsed and chopped (optional)
About 3/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
Pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes (optional)
Put the olives, capers, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, anchovies, if using, and 1/2 cup olive oil in a blender or food processor and grind to a paste. Make the texture of the relish to your preference – rough or smooth. Pulsing the ingredients makes it rough; for a smoother version, let the machine run for a few minutes.
Scrape the olive relish into a small bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding pepper – or a little cayenne or red pepper flakes – as desired and salt if necessary. Thin with a little more olive oil to loosen the paste.
Makes about 2 cups.