As I’ve said many times before, I believe appetizers should first and foremost be easy to make. Whether you’re making a large number of small plates for a cocktail party or you’re hosting a dinner, I don’t think there is anyone out there who wants to spend more than a few minutes creating an appetizer. I had this in mind when I made this sun-dried tomato tapenade, which simply involves a quick spin in the food processor.
I’ve always loved southern French food for its simplicity, which relies on using naturally flavorful, high-quality ingredients. Tapenade is the perfect example. Its ingredients really speak for themselves, with so much flavor from the salty olives and bright lemon. With sun-dried tomatoes and basil in this version, there’s an extra hint of sweetness and freshness. And while many tapenades are blended until they are pureed, I prefer more of a roughly chopped tapenade. I like seeing all of the different components (and I think it looks a lot more appetizing!).
The beauty of this recipe is its flexibility. Love kalamata olives but hate green ones? Feel free to customize it however you please.
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- Splash of sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Zest of one lemon
- Two cups pitted olives (I used a mix of kalamata and green olives)
- Large handful fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, lemon juice and zest to the food processor. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes, until the sun-dried tomatoes are finely chopped.
- Add the olives and basil leaves to the food processor. Pulse the processor about 10 times, or until the olives are finely chopped but not pureed. Serve with fresh bread or crackers.