The Romans, like many Ancient Mediterranean cultures, made a paste from olives, seasoned with vinegar and herbs (including cilantro, fennel, and mint) called epityrum. In this tradition is tapenade, a Provencal paste made from olives, capers, and anchovies. The name comes from the Provencal word for capers, tapeno, to differentiate it from other olive pastes. Spread tapenade on croûtes/crostini (toast), spread over cheese tarts, use to stuff hard-cooked eggs or cherry tomatoes, serve as a dip for crudités, bread, and crackers, or serve with broiled/grilled fish.
Tapenade (Provencal Olive and Caper Paste)
- Cooking and Prep: 15 m
- Serves: 5
Prepare the Dip
In a food processor or with a mortar and pestle, pulse the olives, anchovies, capers, garlic, basil, parsley, pepper, and, if desired, lemon juice until minced.
Drizzle in the olive oil and mix well.
Serve at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Kashrut Instructions (Courtesy of OU Kosher)
Aphids, thrips and other insects may often be found on the leaves and stems of fresh herbs such as chives, basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme. Insects tend to nestle in the crevices between the leaves and branches of herbs. These insects can curl up and stick to the leaf once they come in contact with water.
Recommendation for home preparation: In order to determine if a particular bunch of herbs is infested prior to washing, bang it several times over a white cloth. This is most important when checking oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme. If only one or two insects are found proceed with the steps below. If three or more insects are detected in a particular bunch of herbs it should not be used.
Inspection: Soak herbs in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated unscented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, care must be taken to thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
• Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs.
• Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs.
• Check both sides of each leaf under direct light.
• If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs.
• If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded.
Please Note: Curly leaf parsley is very difficult to check. It is therefore recommended that only flat leaf parsley be used.
Tuna Tapenade: Substitute 1 and a 1/2 ounces tuna packed in olive oil for the anchovies. If desired, add 1 tablespoon brandy.