Anyway, today I made tapenade. Helpfully, Felicity Cloake at the Guardian recently explored how to make the perfect tapenade, so I used her recipe as a guide.
I'm lucky enough to live on a street lined with great food shops in addition to the daily market. One of my favourite shops is Sabah/Sabbah, which sells a wonderful selection of North African and Middle Eastern delights: everything from pomegranate molasses to lavash. They also have a fantastic help-yourself olive bar, which is where I got the plump little beauties above.
200g good-quality olives (with the stones still in)
3 Tbsp capers
1 large clove garlic, crushed or grated
2 big pinches dried thyme, rubbed between your thumb and index finger
Juice of half a lemon
4 Tbsp best olive oil
- First, stone your olives. This isn't as grim as it sounds: just cut each olive lengthwise along the stone, and then prise the two halves apart. Tip your capers, crushed garlic, and rubbed thyme in with the olives.
- Blitz the mixture to a coarse purée. Chunky bits are fine. To save on washing up, I did this in a jug with an immersion blender, but a food processor works too.
- Add the lemon juice and stir. You may not need the whole half lemon, depending on how juicy your lemon is.
- Add the olive oil and stir very well to combine. Taste to see if you want to add any more lemon juice.
This makes a small bowl of luscious tapenade. It's quite a loose mixture, which I prefer to the crumbly/solid tapenades which taste like insanely salty soil. The loose texture also makes it great for dribbling over salads to add punch. The tapenade's flavours will only improve if you leave it in the fridge overnight so they can get to know each other and compare salty stories.