A very delicious French Provence region treat! Tapenade is a very healthy tasty topping for crostini. Tapenade is great with a light bodied red wine as a summertime early evening sunset appetizer.
Provencal Tapenade Recipe:
The better the olives, the better the tapenade! Try to balance the salty olives with mild tasting olives, or the tapenade will be unpleasantly salty. Kalamata olives are a poor choice for a French tapenade. Nicoise olives, oil cured olives, mild salt level brined high quality green and black olives are better choices.
I minced the tapenade in the pictures by hand with a sharp chef knife. It looks like caviar! A food processor has the tendency to turn a tapenade into a fine paste. Tapenade should mimic the look and texture of caviar, when when it is properly made!
Place 1/3 cup of pitted ripe black olives on a cutting board.
Add 1/4 cup of pitted oil cured olives.
Add 1/4 cup of pitted green olives.
Add 3 cloves of chopped garlic.
Add 1 heaping tablespoon of rinsed capers.
Very finely mince the olive, garlic and caper mixture, till it turns into a smooth paste with no big olive chunks.
Place the olive paste into a bowl.
Add 1 pinch of black pepper.
Add 1 pinch of minced tarragon.
Add 1 pinch of minced marjoram.
Add 1 pinch of minced basil.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of anchovy paste.
Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of virgin olive oil.
Mix the ingredients together.
The tapenade should be thick and spreadable.
Provencal Tapenade en Crut:
Brush 2 or 3 slices of crusty French bread with olive oil.
Toast both sides of the bread in a saute pan or griddle over medium/medium low heat.
Spread the tapenade over the toasted French bread.
Set the tapenade en crut on a plate.
Snow Peas and Grilled Tomato Garnish:
Heat saute pan over medium/medium low heat.
Saute 1 tiny handful of julienne sliced snow pea strips with a tiny splash of olive oil for 20 seconds.
Set the sauteed snow peas aside and keep them warm.
Return the pan to the heat.
Season 2 thick sliced tomato slices with coarse ground black pepper and sea salt.
Pan sear both sides of the tomato slices with a small splash of olive oil, till the tomato slices become lightly caramelized.
Garnish the plate with the seared tomato slices and fine julienne snow peas.
The contrast of flavors in a good tapenade spells out a relaxed summer evening of watching a sunset and sipping wine. Provence France has many simple, delicious preparations of healthy food to offer. Provence is a very rich food region.
I was a sous chef for a great chef from Provence for a while. The French chef took a few weeks of vacation to climb Mount Everest for his 65th birthday. Talk about a guy with elan!
We specialized in Provence style seafood in his restaurant. Provence food is healthy!
By the way, I have used no food processor, blender, mixer, dishwasher or any electric appliance devices my recipe blog food so far. Every recipe is made the old traditional way. I was a culinary arts instructor for externship programs a few times. It is better to teach a method the old fashioned way first. That way a student will see and develop a feeling for proper taste and texture.
My old fashioned hand chopped tapenade in the pictures glistens like caviar! That is the proper texture for tapenade. Enjoy this healthy French recipe! ... Shawna