I kind of prefer green olive tapenade to black. My version:
1 jar green olives, drained
1 can chick peas, drained
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbs. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, mashed
1/2 tsp black pepper
Makes a wonderful spread/dip. I also spread it on chicken and fish before baking sometimes.
I eyeball most of the ingredients "to taste", but here goes a good approximation:
1 cup of dried mission or calimyrna figs, simmered in a bit of water for 7-10 min then chopped
1/2+ cup chopped black kalamata olives
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
2 tbsp good evoo
1-2 tbsp good balsamico (I have a fig balsamic that is lovely in this)
1 tbsp capers (optional - if not using, replace with add'l olives)
fresh thyme and marjoram to taste
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, seasoning with salt & pepper to taste (i really like the pungency of white pepper in this).
I usually take about have the mixture and put it through my cuisinart to smooth it out, and the fold back into the chunkier tapenade - i find it make for a nicer texture.
I have served this loaded onto a goat cheese round and topped with an extra half walnut, i've served it with simple crackers, and most recently (and most favorite) is with homemade parmesan fricos (basically just "fry" shredded parm dusted with flour on a nonstick pan, lift, flip, then let cool).
June's Fitness magazine has this one from McDonald's Exec. Chef Dan Coudreaut that I've dog-eared but haven't tried yet. I imagine green olives would be good in it too but I love kalamatas so I'd leave 'em in:
7 oz artichoke hearts, medium, in water
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp kalamata olives, quartered
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, diced
1 tbsp shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 tbsp capers, petite nonpareil
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 1/2 tbsp EVOO
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
re: Sam D.
Below is the recipe from Em Bistro in Los Angeles. It was published in the L.A. Times earlier this year. I have made this several times and it was well received by everyone who tried it. It is a great item for a picnic.
Except for the garlic, I cut the recipe ingredients proportionately in order to use just one eggplant instead of three. I used a whole head of garlic. Also, I left the eggplant unpeeled until it was cooked. Then I removed and finely chopped the peeling and mixed it in with the other ingredients. According to Chef Ann Conness at EM Bistro, the flavor is best if this is made a day before it is served.
Em Bistro Eggplant Tapenade
3 globe eggplants, about 2 1/2 pounds total
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4cup plus 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
12 garlic cloves with skin on
3/4 cup diced onions
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon brown sugar or to taste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon capers
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2teaspoons chili flakes
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Trim and peel the eggplants. Slice into 1/2 inch slices. Place them on a baking sheet and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt. Let rest for 20 minutes, then rinse off the salt, turn the slices and sprinkle the other side with a tablespoon of salt. Let rest 20 minutes, then rinse.
2. Heat one-fourth cup olive oil in a large skillet. Cook the eggplant slices in batches, adding oil as needed, up to one-half cup (three-fourths cup total). Cook on both sides until caramelized and golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.
3. Place the slices on a baking sheet and finish cooking in a 400-degree oven until very soft, about 10 minutes. Cool. Roughly chop the eggplant until it forms a paste.
4. In the meantime, place the garlic cloves in a piece of foil and drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Seal and bake in a 400-degree oven until soft and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skin and use the flat side of a large knife to mash it into a paste.
5. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in a small pan. Add the onion and cook on medium-low heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.
6. Place the eggplant paste in a large bowl and stir in the onion, roasted garlic paste, chopped parsley, brown sugar, vinegar, capers, tomato paste, chili flakes, the remaining teaspoon salt and the pepper.
7. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with thin slices of sourdough or whole grain bread. Makes 4 cups.