Posted by Lynda Balslev
This is a recipe in my Almond book. I prepared this tapenade for each of the book signings I went to, and it was very popular. And now that it’s the official start to summer, I share this recipe with you. Salty, nutty, and seriously addictive, this tapenade is a perfect summer appetizer, spooned over bread or crostini. It’s also a great condiment, sprinkled over pizzas, salads or grilled fish. If you can, enjoy it with a glass of dry rosé for a heavenly pairing.
Green Olive and Almond Tapenade
from Almonds – Recipes, History, Culture (Gibbs Smith 2014)
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
1/2 cup raw almonds, toasted
2 cups pitted green olives
3 anchovies in oil, drained
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place the almonds in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to coarsely chop. Add the remaining ingredients and process to a coarse paste. Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow the flavors to develop. The tapenade may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
When it’s summertime, I usually have a jar of olivada in the refrigerator. It’s a briny mixture of olives, pine nuts and garlic – perfect for the heat when we crave salt. Its flavors are sharpest when the olivada is freshly made, and we enjoy it simply slathered on bread or crostini with a chilled glass of rosé. The longer the olivada sits in the refrigerator, its flavors mellow and soften, losing some of its pungency. Then I will toss it with pasta or sprinkle it in salads or over pizza. It’s also a handy garnish for meats and fish. I used the last bit of our latest batch of olivada on these sea bass filets. The salty olives and crunchy pine nuts were a perfect accompaniment to the flaky olive oil roasted fish filets and sweet tomatoes.
Roasted Sea Bass with Olivada and Tomatoes
Halibut or swordfish may be substituted for the sea bass. Serves 4.
4 one-inch thick sea bass filets, about 2 pounds
1 cup grape tomatoes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup olivada
Juice of 1 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh parsley or pea tendrils as garnish
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Arrange fish filets in one layer in a baking dish. Scatter the tomatoes around the filets. Drizzle fish and tomatoes with olive oil, turning the filets to coat. Spread the olivada over the tops of the filets. Squeeze the lemon juice over the fish and tomatoes. Sprinkle with pepper and a little salt (the olivada will also add salt). Bake in oven until fish is just cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Serve hot garnished with parsley.
~ Olivada ~
Got heat? Try this recipe for Olivada. When the weather is bleeping hot outside, and it’s too stifling to move, this salty, briny, more-ish concoction hits the spot. Similar to a tapenade but much more simple, the star of this recipe is olives – 3 kinds, in fact. I choose a variety of olives to balance their intensity and flavor and blitz them with toasted pinenuts and garlic. The flavors are sharp, inky, salty and addictive. While you may not have the energy to move in this heat, this recipe promises to get your taste buds dancing.
Make a double batch to keep on hand in the refrigerator for easy use. Serve with baguette slices or crostini. Add spoonfuls to pasta dishes and salads, or sprinkle over pizza and roasted vegetables. Makes about 2 cups.
1 cup oil-cured olives, about 5 ounces, pitted
1 cup pitted kalamata olives, about 4 ounces
1 cup pitted green olives, such as Cavelstrano, about 4 ounces
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted golden
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl of a food processor. Pulse to finely chop to desired consistency. Do not over process or the olivada will become a paste. Transfer to a glass jar or container with a lid. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours to let the flavors develop. The olivada will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. (The flavors will diminish over time.)