Tapenade is a Provençal dip/spread that consists of olives, capers and sometimes anchovies. I love anchovies but I am not using it in this recipe. You certainly can add them for more richness if you like them. Beware of the high level of sodium in all the ingredients. This mouthwatering spread is also found in Italian cuisine.
“Olive-based tapenades with anchovies and/or vinegar are ubiquitous in Italian cuisine and are documented in ancient Roman cookbooks dating back thousands of years before the appearance of the Occitan word tapenade. One of the earliest known tapenade recipe, Olivarum conditurae, appears in Columella‘s De re Rustica, written in the first century AD. .Cato the Elder (234–149 B.C.E.) includes a recipe for Epityrum, an olive spread very like a tapenade, in chapter 119 of his “On Agriculture.”
Follow me in my kitchen and let ‘s have fun with this delicious spread.
Serves 6-8 as an appetizer – Level of difficulty: Easy
1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and rinsed
1 cup green olives, pitted (Sicilians are the best) *
1 Tbsp. chopped flat-leave Italian parsley + more for garnish
4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil + more to drizzle
Half of a lemon, juiced
1 tbsp. capers, rinsed
2 garlic cloves, rough chopped
Roasted red bell peppers for garnish, fresh or jar ones
1 loaf of crusty bread, sliced or crackers* Preparation:
1) Place Kalamata and green olives, parsley, oil, lemon, capers and garlic in a food processor. Pulse 25 times by stopping each time until you obtain a chunky but moist consistency, showing small bits of olives and other ingredients.
2) Place in a serving bowl and chill. (Optional)
3) Spread on delicious crusty bread or crackers. Drizzle with olive oil.
Garnish with parsley and roasted peppers.This spread makes a dazzling appetizer and can be made ahead of time. Cook’s notes: I used Spanish olives, and they worked nicely.
I don’t recommend that you add any salt to this spread, even if you’re not on a sodium-restricted diet. You can toast the bread to add that extra touch. The choice is yours. Wine Pairing Suggestions: A lovely chilled white, such as a sauvignon blanc, or any white or red varieties of your choice. Make sure, the acidity level is low to medium. This way, it will not take away the sharpness nor compete with the saltiness of the dish. It’s ok, if you don’t consume alcohol, either way, you will enjoy this luscious appetizer.I hope you will try this recipe and share your thoughts with me.
Happy Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours, Gina Martino Zarcadoolas aka Foodiewinelover
My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles
WSET-Level 2 Certified Wine Connoisseur
Global Cuisines & Cultures Aficionado
I first found out about this delicacy when I was visiting Venice in 2007 with my beautiful family. I was intrigued because I had never savored baccala that way before. Baccala is Italian for dried salted cod fish. It’s a delicious spread (dip) that originated in the region of Venice, Italy. It’s not that difficult to prepare but it can be a bit tricky. If you follow my instructions carefully, your spread will be a success just like mine. You will be using fillet (boned) code fish that’s cured in salt. It’s usually found in a plastic bag near the seafood department of your grocery store. I am certain, you can also find it in the outdoor markets without the plastic, depending what part of the world you live in. Fear not, it’s cured with lots of salt and it’s not easily perishable. If you don’t properly prepare it, you will be left with a dish that is inedible due to the high sodium content. You will need a little less than two hours from start to finish to obtain the final results. Today, I am using a food processor and not my hands, which could be a daunting task. This is the perfect appetizer for an Italian-themed party, and pairs lusciously with Prosecco or any bubbly of your choice. I promise you, if your guests like seafood, they will be impressed with your culinary skills.
Serves: 8-10 as an appetizer – Level of difficulty: Medium
16 oz. Salted Cod Fish boned
Water to boil the cod fish and potatoes
2 medium gold potatoes, peeled, cut up
4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
1/2 cup half & half
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle
Black pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish, optional
Garlic bread, crostini, or polenta
1) Rinse the salt off the fish. Next, In a large plastic bowl, place the cod fish and cover it with fresh room temperature (tap) water. Let it soak for about 45 minutes. Drain, rinse, and repeat the same process for another 45 minutes. (You will be adding fresh water and let it soak a second time) for a total of at LEAST 90 minutes. Drain again.
2)Place in a large saucepan, cover with fresh water and boil for 5-7 minutes until it becomes a little flaky. There will be large chunks and it will not fall apart at that point. Drain. Set aside.
3) In the meanwhile, boil the potatoes until they are fork tender. *
4) It’s time to put it all together. In a food processor, put the cod, potatoes, garlic, half and half and PULSE for about 40 – 60 seconds or so, until all the ingredients come together nicely. At that point, you should see some little chunks of fish, and the mixture will appear a little dry.
5) Slowly, add the oil and run the food processor on HIGH until you obtain a mousse-like texture as in mashed potatoes. (about 30-60 seconds). Always, check your food to make sure you do not over process it. You will run the risk of changing the texture by liquefying it too much. The spread will look creamy, with flakes or little shreds of fish. It’s done. Look at my pictures!
6) Spread it over bread, drizzle with olive oil, and garnish with black pepper and parsley. You can also serve it in a bowl, and let your guest dig in. Traditionally in Venice, it’s served over polenta. Either way, you eat it, it will be delectable and very enticing to the taste buds.
I hope you have enjoyed this delicious and healthy recipe, and plan to make it soon. Let me hear about your experience. From what I gather, people are having a difficult time obtaining the right consistency. It may take some practice.
Cook’s notes: * You can use the same pan you used for the cod to boil the potatoes to avoid a mess in the kitchen.
Make sure the sauce pan is large enough, if not, the water will overflow and create a mess when cooking the fish. I have a few tricks up my sleeves, having been in the kitchen for nearly 30 years. To make the bread, drizzle with olive oil, and a dab of butter. Broil for 1-2 minutes. Voila!
All photos are exclusively mine except for the small picture of the bag – I wanted to show you what it looks like. If it says boned, chunks, it will work also. It’s IMPORTANT that you used the fillet (without the bones) Keep in mind, there are probably different companies depending on where you live.
This recipe was created in my kitchen and I take full credit for the measurements and method of preparation.
I hope you will try this delicious spread and share your thoughts with me. I would love to hear your feedback. I may come back to add some personal photos from our trip to Venice. I need to publish this today, as my followers on social media are patiently waiting for the recipe.
So in 2016 I turned 50. I was in Italy for my 21st, 30th and 40th. To keep this birthday tradition going I always knew I'd be in Italy for my 50! This blog starts with my 5 week adventure in Puglia but my love affair with Italy continues.....
It's more than LUCK; it's love and comfort in in every POT! More than that it's the words, feelings, fashion and stuff that make this blog a MUST!! More than that the purpose of this blog is to evoke unity and pride through food, words and expression of love to illuminate and motivate.