A black olive tapenade, a loaf of freshly baked bread and some artisanal cheese from Vermont were casually assembled. I have been relying on a simple platter of appetizers like this for different occasions. It makes life easier to invite friends over, for a quick coffee or for dinner. Something store bought, something fresh out of the oven (since I bake bread a lot), something made ahead of time. This is a format that’s simple to do and inviting. The black olive tapenade was described by David Lebovitz in My Paris Kitchen as the first he has ever made and is still making it. I need a recipe just like that.
Toss in about 1 1/2 cup of pitted black olives, with some garlic, capers, fresh thyme, anchovy, lemon juice and Dijon mustard in the food processor. Pulse a few times and add the olive oil while the machine is running until the mixture turnes into a chunky paste. It takes minutes, if not seconds, to make the tapenade. It will keep well in the refrigerator.
This black olive tapenade also reminds me of a salsa verde I like to make with similar ingredients to serve with fish. Add some fresh herbs, such as parsley, green onions or tarragon, to the tapenade; it will quickly turns into a delectable sauce for a fish. I don’t worry where the tapenade would go. It won’t last long in my kitchen.