Tapenade is another of my favourite flavour boosters, although admittedly not much of a looker! Like romesco sauce and salsa verde, it is something I make to keep in my fridge to add instant jazz hands to a simple meal. These flavour-bombe sauces make the job of cooking dinner so much easier as so much of the flavour work has been done.
Tapenade is a full of salty, umami flavour. It is made with anchovies, olives and capers – all ingredients that add real guts to a meal. You can buy a jar. However, because it is easy to make and brings so much flavour to this dish, you can make your own using the recipe below.
You can use tapenade as a topping for baked fish or chicken, as a topping for crostini, stirred through pasta or boiled potatoes or spread on a sandwich. I love it dotted on tomatoes too. The saltiness makes it the perfect thing to dip into alongside a glass of rosé before dinner.
(makes around a ramekin full)
200g (7 oz) stone-in black olives, ideally Kalamata olives
3 tablespoons capers
1 clove of garlic
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
To make tapenade:
- Use the side of a knife to squish the olives then rip them to remove the stones. Discard the stones.
- Put all the olives, capers, anchovies and garlic in a food processor and pulse until you have a fine mush. Alternatively, crush in a mortar and pestle or chop finely with a knife.
- Add the olive oil and the juice and zest of half a lemon and mix or blend again. Taste and add more lemon juice and zest as needed. A jar will last for a week in the fridge.
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AD – I created this recipe as part of a trip to work with Mirabeau wine in Provence.