Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: None
Tapenade is a typical hors d'oeuvre from the south of France. It's a purée of anchovies, olives and capers that is usually spread on bread, but it can also be used to brush on meat or fish, or used as a dressing with salad or vegetables.
It is stored in a glass jar, covered with olive oil.
Tapenade differs from region to region and from family to family. Some cooks add a spoonful of water to make it more spreadable. Others blend in a spoonful of strong mustard.
Don't add salt, because the anchovies are already salty.
- Clean the anchovies, removing the bones and tail;
- peel the garlic cloves; crush 3 of them;
- in a mortar, mash the olives, anchovies, capers and 3 crushed cloves of garlic;
- season with pepper; gradually add the olive oil, blending the mixture to a smooth thin paste;
- mix in the lemon juice;
- toast the bread slices; rub the crumb with the remaining clove of garlic; spread with tapenade.
A son of the south of France whose cooking is true to his Mediterranean roots, Alain Llorca (Moulin de Mougins) takes tapenade to the east side of the Mediterranean, blending the sweet mellow flavor of pistachios with green olives. Pan fry some red mullet fillets in olive oil, skin side down. Transfer them to a plate and coat with tapenade. Serve with panisses (little chickpea flour cakes) topped with onion compote.
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