Monday, July 7, 2014

Allergy-Free Olive Tapenade

By Kelley Lindberg

I’m always looking for something safe, different, and delicious to take to parties. Something everyone will eat. Something tantalizing. Something fun. And it’s a bonus if it’s something that’s allergy-free to begin with, and I don’t even have to make substitutions. That way, when someone asks for the recipe, I know it will be safe even if THEY make it. And they don’t turn up their nose at it, saying, “Oh, well, if it’s allergy-free, it probably tastes lousy.”

So when I wanted to find something French to make for an international food tasting event at my son’s school during the last week of school, I hit on the idea of making an olive tapenade.

Olive tapenade (olive spread) is a very common food in France, Spain, Greece, and Italy. It’s a spread, so you can serve it on toasted slices of safe French or Italian bread, or on safe crackers.

I tried a few versions before I hit on the combinations of olives that work best. I tried using all black olives (too muddy-tasting) and all green olives (too sharp-tasting). Finally, I came up with this combination. It’s super easy – throw it all in a food processor or blender, and Voila!

So the next time you have to take something to a party, take this classy snack. Americans might look at it a little funny at first, but since most people love olives, it won’t take them long to fall in love with it! I’ve taken it to 2 events already, and it’s been popular. Bon appétit!

Kelley’s Olive Tapenade

3 c. pitted Kalamata olives, drained

1/2 c. pitted black olives, drained

1/2 c. pitted green manzanilla olives, drained

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tsp capers, drained

1/4 c. olive oil

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

2 T fresh cilantro or parsley leaves, chopped (or 1 tsp dried basil or Italian seasonings)

Put all ingredients in food processor or blender, pulse about 10 times, using spatula to push down off sides if necessary. Let rest 1 hour at room temperature to let flavors “blossom.” Will keep in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serve on safe French bread that’s been sliced, brushed with oil, and toasted. Or serve on safe crackers.



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