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Beyond the Olive: Unleash the Flavor Power of Tapenade

Ah, tapenade! The mere mention of this word conjures up images of sun-drenched Provençal kitchens, the rhythmic thud of a mortar and pestle, and the intoxicating aroma of garlic, olives, and herbs mingling in the air. It's a condiment that's as rich in history as it is in flavor, a culinary tapestry woven from ancient Roman traditions and the vibrant spirit of Southern France.

Imagine this: we're transported back to the 18th century, strolling through the bustling streets of Marseille. Shopkeepers hawk their wares, the air thick with the scent of lavender and freshly baked bread. In a corner bistro, a chef hunches over a worn mortar, rhythmically pounding a mixture of olives, capers, and anchovies. This, my friends, is the birthplace of tapenade – a humble dish born from necessity, destined for greatness.

Back then, olives were a staple food in Provence, and resourceful cooks found ways to stretch their supply. They pounded them into a paste, adding whatever flavorful bits they could scrounge – garlic from the garden, briny capers, and perhaps a hint of anchovies for umami depth. This rustic concoction, named "tapenade" after the Provençal word for "capers," was spread on crusty bread, a simple yet satisfying meal for peasants and nobility alike.

But tapenade wasn't destined to remain a mere peasant food. It soon found its way onto the tables of the rich and famous, its versatility and depth of flavor captivating even the most discerning palates. It became a symbol of Provençal cuisine, gracing charcuterie boards, crowning crostini, and even sneaking into sauces and stews.

Fast forward to today, and tapenade has conquered the world. It's a globetrotting gourmand, at home in Michelin-starred restaurants and casual picnic baskets alike. From the classic green olive and anchovy base, a universe of flavor variations has emerged. Roasted red peppers add a smoky sweetness, sundried tomatoes bring a burst of sunshine, and even artichoke hearts lend their earthy elegance.

Whether you're a seasoned chef or a curious home cook, tapenade is an invitation to explore. It's a blank canvas for your culinary creativity, a gateway to the soul of Provence on a crusty slice of bread. So grab your mortar and pestle, or your trusty food processor, and let's dive into the deep end of flavor together.


Ingredients

Approximately 10 servings

  • 2 Deux Pates Baguettes

  • 200g Olives (Black or Kalamata)

  • 6 anchovies fillets in olive oil

  • 8 capers

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Tapenade

  1. Put all ingredients in food processor

  2. Grind until it becomes a paste

Bread & Assembly

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F

  2. Slice Deux Pates GF baguette 1/4in thick on the bias

  3. Brush bread on both sides with oil and arrange on large baking sheet. 

  4. Toast bread, turning halfway through, until dried and golden brown, 10 minutes.

  5. Arrange bread on a platter

  6. Spoon Tapenade on top of bread just before serving.

Bon Appétit!

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