Tapenade is traditionally a Provençal dish containing olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil. Its name comes from the Provençal word for capers, tapenas. It is particularly popular in the South of France, where it is eaten with baguette or sometimes stuffed in a chicken. Tapenade made with olives and anchovies/vinegar dates right back to the Roman era, long before French was even spoken as a language! It was mentioned in the Roman cookbook, De Re Rustica by Columella and was known as Olivarum conditurae. This cookbook dates back to the first century AD, so it has been a firm favourite to the Mediterranean palate for many, many years! Tapenade crossed the Atlantic and proved to be a vital ingredient in the Cajun dish Muffaletta, a type of sandwich, which is a hot favourite in the restaurants of New Orleans. Tapenade’s single most important ingredient is the olive, usually black. It is chopped finely, crushed or blended and so are capers. Olive oil is then added until the point when the mixture becomes a paste. Anchovies are usually also added but for vegetarian purposes, vinegar, brandy or lemon juice can be used instead, but herbs and garlic are almost a prerequisite. Today we are producing my favourite and a big favourite at La Petite Bouchee with artichokes.
- 3 garlic cloves peeled
- A handful of pitted green olives
- A small handful of capers, rinsed
- 1 jar of artichokes
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- A large glug extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of chilli powder
- Pinch of salt and black pepper.
- Place all the ingredients into the food processor and pulse until you have the right texture for you. We like ours to have a rough texture.
- Serve with lots of crusty bread or french toast.