Kalamata Olive Tapenade

This tapenade comes together very quickly and is a perfect accessory to cocktail hour, especially if martinis are being served!  If olives aren’t your thing (don’t worry–I personally hate olives too!) this can be made using sun-dried tomatoes instead.  Just swap the 1 cup of Kalamata olives for 1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes (use the kind that are packed in herbed oil, then use slightly less EVOO in the recipe since the tomatoes already contain oil), and add 1 tsp. each of dried basil and oregano.

Kalamata Olive Tapenade
Yield:  1 cup
Time:  15 minutes

¼ cup plus 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted (drained and rinsed)
1 tbsp. capers (drained and rinsed)
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
½ tsp. red wine vinegar
¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper

1.  Place the minced garlic and 1 tbsp. EVOO in a small sauté pan.  Cook over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes, until garlic is browned and roasted.

2.  Combine the roasted garlic and all remaining ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until coarsely chopped (not puréed).  Mix to evenly distribute all ingredients.

Serve with a sliced baguette, herbed crackers, or with slices of crispy polenta*.

*The easiest way to make crispy polenta slices is to buy a tube of prepared polenta from the grocery store.  Slice it into round pieces, each roughly ¼-inch thick.  Place on a greased baking sheet and broil for 12 minutes.  Flip and broil for another 5 minutes, or until lightly browned.

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