I well remember the different tapenades and aiolis that Marie and I used to enjoy. We got hooked on them while eating light meals (and sampling wines) at the Viansa Winery in California. The entire scene was romantic and fun ... a great natural setting and a time to enjoy life and celebrate. We used to purchase the aiolis and tapenades available at the Viansa gift shop and take them home to enjoy with friends later. My, they sure were good, and so were the friends, especially Bob and Lois. We had great times with them at many places.
In memory of those times I decided to provide a tapenade appetizer in Food Nirvana. I will likely also provide a nice aioli recipe soon. The recipe below is self-explanatory regarding how to use a tapenade as an appetizer. I hope you try the recipe. It looks very good. Yes, I do intend to make it and report back to you. I kind of doubt any recipe improvements will be necessary ... It simply looks to be perfect. Enjoy!
Ingredients: (Makes 4-6 servings)
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 3/4 cups of whole, pitted olives (kalamata, black, green or use a mixture)
1 anchovy fillet, rinsed
2 Tbsp. of capers
1 tsp. of chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp. of dried thyme leaves
3 Tbsp. of lemon juice
6 Tbsp. of olive oil
1/8 tsp. of white pepper
Combine the garlic, olives, anchovies, capers, thyme and lemon juice in an electric blender or in the bowl of a food processor. Slowly add the olive oil into the mixture while blending or processing. Blend until a paste is formed. Add the white pepper and stir.
You can also make this recipe by using a mortar and pestle, or by chopping all ingredients together until very fine. The texture can be as smooth or as chunky as you like.
Store the tapenade in the refrigerator, well covered.
Serve it with crackers or crusty French bread. It can also be a sandwich spread. For example, use it with roast beef and hoagie buns for a rich sandwich.