Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Kalamata Olive Walnut Tapenade

We didn't just have cake on the weekend for hubby's birthday. I also made a pasta dish for the new book, and my Kalamata Olive Walnut Tapenade from Vive.

It was actually Melissa that inspired me to make my tapenade again! Melissa e-mailed me while we were in Newfoundland. She had blogged the recipe and sent me a note to tell me that she really liked it. (by the way, her posts have had nicely detailed nutrition notes lately - informative stuff!). I thought "oh yeah, I really liked that one too, I'll have to make it soon".

Funny, you'd think I'd remember my own stuff!

But when I'm working on new recipes, I don't always get time to make some of my other dishes. Plus, like you, there are some recipes I go to as 'old standbys', and I almost completely forget other dishes that we love.

Now, you must like olives to make this tapenade. It has both kalamata and black olives in the mix. (But I ask you, how can anyone NOT like olives??!!) I know, some of you are cringing right now! But, if you like olives, you'll love this dish. Of course, as the name suggests, walnuts are also in the mixture, as well as fresh thyme. The walnuts and thyme, as well as some other seasonings, help to bring some nutty earthiness to the very pungent kalamata olives.

Now, if you are making this recipe, do yourself a favor and buy PITTED kalamata olives. Unless you take pleasure in standing and squishing the pits out of each olive! Black olives are typically pitted in cans, so these are easy to find. Look for pitted kalamata olives in the deli section of your stores, or you may find some bottled as well.

Finally, as much as this tapenade is fabuloso to spread on crackers or breads... think outside the box with it, folks. Pizza box that is! Use it as to spread as a base on pizzas. Then top with veg you like. It is sooooo good!!

Also, double the recipe if you want and keep some refrigerated for later use. Spread some on sandwiches too, or toss a little in hot pasta, or a dollop on soup, or stir a great big spoonful into oatmeal.
Kidding!! :)


EatPeacePlease said...

I'm not a huge olive person, but I'm working on it. Funny you posted this because I carefully looked at the recipe yesterday debating whether to go for it. I think I will now that I know what it looks like. You are funny... oatmeal!

Isil S. said...

Hi Dreena,
Glad you're back. I invited you to join to food bloggers meme on my blog. Check it out when you have time, please feel free to ignore if you don't want to participate.

Julie said...

I love love olives! I am so glad you posted this because I have been itching to make something with them. Usually we just have olives on pizza or as a compliment to Mediterranian-type meals. What kind of pasta dish did you make?

*a* said...

I love this tapenade. My favorite pizza topping is olives so the first time I made this recipe I used it as a pizza topping (added a few mushrooms, as well) on top of my regular pizza sauce. So delish!

Melissa West said...

Hi Dreena!

That's so cool that you linked to my post and my blog! Thank you. Also thanks for the comments on the nutrition focus of my blog. That has been a conscious effort as of late.

Funny thing about this olive tapenade... my baby sister loves it and she hates olives! LOL! So, there you have it an exception to the rule that you have to like olives to like this tapenade.

I use it on sandwhiches too.. love it!

Vicki said...

olives are one of my all time fav foods & we have 2 walnut trees -- love the pizza/pasta/soup variations.
missed you, dreena -- your posts are so inspiring.

raising_kahne said...

Unfortunately, Im one of the strange people that hate olives. They're too sour-ish for me. Maybe it's just the kinds Ive tried. I didnt have time to commant on your last posts, but the cake looks delish! Cant wait to be able to try it when the cookbook comes out!!

Anonymous said...

you had me until the oatmeal!

Gaia said...

mmmmmm ! Kalamata olive tapenade Oatmeal ! You are so creative Dreena ! LOL :)))))
How about putting it in Raspberry Mousse ? ;-) LOL

Tried your Double Chocolate Almond Explosion Cookies yesterday. Didn't have almonds so I used cashews. You are a cookie goddess !

Dreena said...

Leslie, sometimes it's the type of olive that you may/may not like. I don't care for the garden variety green olives stuffed with pimentos (at all), but I love kalamata and other pungent olives. I started with black olives, which simply tasted slighty salty to me, and I grew to like them more and more. Then when I tried kalamata - LOVED them, and now I try other varieties when I can! Hope you like 'em... uh, well what do YOU put in oatmeal? - hee!

Hi Isil, I like that idea!! I don't usually jump into the memes and getting tagged on things (just have enough time to keep on top of my blogging), but that idea I really love, and will work it into my next post - thanks!

Julie, I'm with you... olives makes us happy! :) I made a tomato based sauce with red lentils in it - very yummy and not overpowering with any particular flavor. I am working the sauce into a chimichanga recipe too. I think you mentioned chimis some time ago - question for you - do you usually fry to sear/brown and then bake, or do you wipe with oil and bake straight away. I have been frying to brown, and LOVE them that way, but thought I'd ask you!

Cool, thanks Aimee!! It's a fab pizza base - adds instant flavor, hey? Glad you love it too! :)

Hi Melissa! You're SO welcome. Thank you also for highlighting my recipes from time to time - I love what you do with some of them, and your photos are always spectacular! I think the nutritional notes you are giving are very useful, and many of us are looking for more of that kind of information. Funny about your sister liking the tapenade. It isn't AS strong tasting as the olives on their own - maybe that's why. Well, and our 5 year old loves olives too, so depends on the palate perhaps! Keep up the great posts!! :)

Aw, thanks Vicki! You are lucky to have walnut trees - so cool. I've never had fresh walnuts or other tree nuts - or peanuts - which are supposed to be amazing fresh!

Savanna, you deserve credit for even trying olives at your age! I don't think I tried them until I was in my 20's. Might be something you grow to like though! :)

What? Megan? You don't dig olives in your oatmeal - gosh, I'll have to work on you with that!

Hi Gaia! Cool, cookie goddess - I'll take that! You're very kind to comment on your cookie success - thank you... glad you enjoyed them. :)

Julie said...

Dreena~ Yes, I did mention chimis! Hooray! I have never made them myself, but I think frying them first and then baking them would be yummy. Thanks for remembering my input--you are the best! :)

oh, and I have never seen any vegetarian cookbook with a chimi recipe--I can't wait to see yours!!

Melody said...

I love olives.. so I will be making this soon..

They have these burgandy olives in the can that are really good, I may sub them for the black olives..

btw, we made your chocolate chip cookies and they were a huge hit. My oldest son said they tasted just like "normal" cookies and I know my youngest son loved them too. My husband said they were really good, but he prefers the butter/egg tollhouse.. but I swear, if I hadn't told him they were vegan he wouldn't have known..

also, I sub'd 1/4 tsp KAL stevia for the sugar and they were awesome.
You are the cookie queen! I love the small batch, so we don't have them around all the time... although I might make them for the kids to keep around for dessert..

laura jesser said...

I love olives but my hubby LOVES them, so this caught my eye. Sounds so great!

Dreena said...

Great, Julie, that's what I've been doing... so I'll continue with that testing. Thanks!!!

Hi Melody... now burgundy olives - haven't tried those - yet!! I LOVE, LOVE that feedback - yay, the vegan cookies taste like "normal" ones! That was my hope/intention all along, so that's music to my ears! :) Funny about your husband - yes, trick him next time to see if he can tell the difference! I haven't made them myself subbing with stevia, and you have me keen on doing so now. I use stevia in my herbal teas every day - love it! Now if you'll excuse me I must go polish my crown - ha! :)

Cool, Laura... and soon you'll be able to make this recipe! :) (do you have a food processor??)

Harmonia said...

I don't know why but I have never used Kalamata Olives at home before...just a hang up I have. I should really branch out, eh? lol

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