Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tapenade and Bruschetta

Yesterday on the market, I could not resist the wonderful display of olives, and as we had friends coming over in the evening, I bought some black ones to make tapenade, a typical provençal appetizer and delicious accompany for drinks before dinner.

Tapenade is a simple and easy to make olive paste, named after one of it's essential ingriedients, the 'tapena' ('capers' in occitane, a language formerly spoken in the South of France and parts of Spain and Italy)

250 gr black olives, de-stoned (make sure no extra salt has been added to them) = 8.8 oz
40 gr capers = 1.4 oz
30 gr anchovy filets in oil = 1 oz
2 tsp lemon juice (optional, but a lovely and refreshing addtion in summer)
1/2 glove of garlic, crushed
3 tbsp olive oil

Place all ingredients (except the olive oil) into a blender, and blend to a smooth consistency. With the motor running, add the olive oil, slowly and steadily. You can use less or more oil, depending on how you like the consistency.

Then spread onto thin slices of crusty baguette or grilled toast or bread, adding a little basil or mint leave for decoration and extra flavor.

During summer, most vegetable stalls offer no fewer than six varities of tomatoes, but since I planned to roast them, I chose the oval Roma, as it is the easiest to skin:

After dropping them for a few seconds into boiling water (until the skin cracks) and letting them cool off, the skin comes almost off by itself. Cutting them in half and placing them on a lined baking tray takes no time at all, and there is no need to add salt, pepper, herbs or oil.

The key for the best flavor is to roast them very slowly, with a medium hot temperature. These were in the oven for three hours, at 160 celsius.

For Brushetta, cut the tomatoes into thin stripes, dice the stripes into small cubes, and season with salt and pepper. Place a spoon-full of the mix on thin slices of crusty baguette or toasted bread, and add a basil or mint leave. You could also rub the cut side of the bread with a glove of garlic (cut into two) beforehand, and sprinkle with some olive oil.

Roasted tomates are also great with pasta sauce, tomato soup, or salads, as they give so much extra flavor.

with a tomato & mozarella starter

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  1. Thanks for a new insight into your local cuisine. Today, I have prepared the tomato sauce following your recipe, except I roasted the tomatoes with skin (missed the instruction). Also, the roasting time was too short and the flavour did not fully developed - will try next time with 3-hours roasting time. Bruschettas are so good as a dinner during the summer time.

  2. Hello, my dear Lilian! Yes, the roasting time is vital.. oven temperatures vary though, so just check your tomatos from time to time to make sure they don't burn x

  3. Thanks for this lovely recipe MaiTai - we loved the tapenade in Provence and I am keen to try making it myself! Your roasted tomatoes look delicious too!

    Have a lovely week,

    Melusine x

  4. Dear Melusine, so nice to hear the post brought back holiday memories. Have fun with the recipes, and a lovely week ahead too :-)

  5. Thank you very much, dearest MaiTai! I've ben waiting for this recepie of tapenade since you first described it in one of your posts!
    I think tapenade will also go great with pancakes instead of caviar.

    A week ago I returned back from my trip to Nice! Such a wonderful place! I also visited local Hermes and brought a few things from there - my first Hermes silver ring (two actually:) - my first Hermes watch - and a new scarf!

    I wanted to thank you for inspiration! I never payed much attention to accesoires before. And now I'm hooked)

  6. OMG! I have died and gone to heaven! Everything so artfully displayed here is amongst my all time favs...only missing a glass of the bubbly and I am good to go
    Thanks so much for posting the recipe. Smacking my lips and sending you a huge hug, T xx

  7. P.S. How in the world do you EVER get your guests to leave???  T xx

  8. J'en ai l'eau à la bouche! Been a while since I last made tapenade. I think I know what I need to add to my grocery shopping list ;-P
    Thank you for sharing with us, dear MT.

  9. Dear De Merveilles, I have been rather slow to come through, sorry it took so long! Great idea re the pancakes, I have a pan which makes them blini-sized, looking forward to trying it out. Congrats on your souvenirs from Nice, so nice to hear you had a great trip.

    I was thinking of you when posting, my dear Trudye, knowing how much you enjoy trips to the Saturday market <3 Wishing you could hop over and join our round.. awh, the fun we'd have! Big mwahs to you.

    Merci, my dear booksnchocolate, and happy shopping! Hope you are enjoying a great rest of the grandes vacances x

  10. Fòrça gracies, meva amica for this beautiful Occitane gift!

  11. Both recipes look delicious, my dear MaiTai! I can´t wait to try them. I love tapenade!!!
    Thank you for sharing them with us.
    I couldn´t help smiling with Trudye´s comment and feel like asking you the same question:-)
    Enjoy a lovely week ahead! Warm hugs, Manuela

  12. I love lots of little snacky things like this. Hooray for olives x

  13. This looks utterly delicious. I'll have to try both the roasted tomatoes and tapenade. Thank you for sharing, MT!

  14. Tapenade is something I only make when entertaining. To make it for DH and myself would be too dangerous. I'd eat most of it myself, skipping the bread, eating it straight out of the bowl, and maybe even licking the bowl clean as well. Olives are one of my favorites foods ever. Close to that are roasted tomatoes. I'll give your recipe a try this week, perhaps even this evening. I followed your pavlova recipe exactly, and the results were fabulous! Thank you.
    Hugs, dear

  15. Cheers for olives! I've loved them all my life but my husband has suddenly become very interested in all kinds of olives and all kinds of olive stuffings. It's so much fun when one's partner gets a yen to explore a branch of taste like this more thoroughly, especially one so ancient and almost numinous!

    I am SO making that tapenade, soon! Grands remerciments pour la recette.

  16. Yum MaiTai!!

    That looks so good! I always love your recipe posts! (I made the tomato sauce one and it was so fresh!) Can't wait to try this one! Thank you so much!

    xo, sam

  17. Wonderful recipe for the tomatoes, MaiTai. I made them tonight. It helps to score the bottom of the tomatoes before placing them in boiling water. Also, you were correct regarding the oven time. I watched mine closely after 2.5 hours and at 2.75 hours, they were done. They'll be wonderful for dinner tomorrow night. Thanks for the delicious and easy recipe!

  18. My dear Birkinmary, been thinking off you, and sending extra special hugs xx

    I could have guessed you are a tapenade lover too, my dear Manuela!
    Lol re Trudye’s question, and wishing you a wonderful rest of the week too <3

    Hooray for olives indeed, dear FF. You are the queen of snacky things, always love the food pics you post on your blog!

    Have fun with the recipes, dear Chocolate, Cookies & Candies :-)

    You made me laugh, my dear CS! The bowl never lasts long chez nous as well, which is why I sometimes double the quantities (DS loves it too, and I often substitute cheese for it, when having a sandwich for lunch) If you’d ever come to the South of France, I’d make one bowl for you and your DH each. So happy to hear about the Pavlova and roast tomato success!

    Dear Someone, so nice to hear about the fun you and your DH are having! My hubby and I share an interest in olives too :-)

    So happy to hear the tomato sauce was a success, my dear Sam, and hope you’ll have fun with the tapenade too!

    CS, bon appétit! I sometimes turn the oven off after 2.5 hours, and let them soak up the remaining heat slowly. Keeping a close eye towards the end is definitely a good idea, and also preparing them a day in advance.. the flavor seems to intensify over night.