Tapenade gets its name from tapeno, the word for “capers” in the Provencal language. This recipe comes from David Lebovitz who insists vehemently that authentic tapenade must have capers in it. Period. Mashed olives alone can’t quite do it. I agree, wholeheartedly. A stickler like me would have no issue with his approach. Calling a spade, a spade. Maybe one day, I’ll wake up and decide to be a rebel, turn everything upside down, and take capers out of tapenade. But not today.
It’s funny the way David gets into the stories about life and culture in Paris. In My Paris Kitchen (which the CookthebookFridays group is cooking with recipe by recipe) he wrote: “He (Jacques, the olive guy) complained so much that I nicknamed him the râleur. Complaining isn’t considered a fault in France, but a normal reaction to life, where the odds always seem to be stacked against you.” No complaints from me, not about the tapenade, or life in general, especially when spring is in the air. Today is a special day.
I followed the recipe using canned artichoke hearts, pitted green olives, olive oil, capers, fresh squeezed lemon juice, minced garlic and some cayenne pepper. Pureed all the ingredients in a handheld blender until smooth. Seasoned with some salt. I skipped the rosemary oil entirely, and added a dash of fresh pomegranate seeds. Pomegrante seeds add color, texture, contrast and sweetness to the tapenade, just the way I like it. I served it with some homemade crusty bread or naan. The rest went into the fridge. By the way the tapenade tastes, I think it’ll be gone in no time!
Happy April fool’s day!