| I love my job! Olive Tapenade (Pronounced: Toppin-odd) was little more than a coarsely pureed mixture of olives, capers and other odds and ends. The fun and flavors really play into the "odds and ends" aspect of that particular mélange. This salty and lightly acidic concoction is usually used as a dip or spread, but is also great as a stuffing within a pork tenderloin or rubbed beneath the skin of a soon-to-be-roasted chicken. A very versatile recipe, this stuff is fantastic as-is, or as a part of a much bigger plan!|
What I DIDN'T know ... was the history! This is where loving my job really comes in. I love to read and research these ideas. Obviously, the idea of smooshed olives goes way back, but ... the first known documented recipe for "tapenade" is about 2000 years old!
The word "Tapenade" is actually from the Provençal word for "capers", but was deeply seeded in roman cuisine, long before it was named ... even before the existence of the French language!
I've never seen a tapenade without olives. It does seem as if olives are a requirement, as well as capers (due to the name). Beyond that, common additions are anchovies, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, various herbs, nuts and/or citrus. It's also made through a variety of methods. Chopping, pounding, pestled, pureed, etc. As a result, some tapenades are smooth and silky, like a sauce, and others are incredibly crude, rustic and multi-colored. Near as I can tell ... there is no one "right way" ... just mix and match the colors, textures, flavors and methods that suit your task and ... enjoy your olive-caper blend!
In my case, I went somewhat thick and rustic, with the addition of nuts ... for no particular reason other than that I just like it that way!
Note: Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Serving size is guestimated at about 2 tbsp.