Black Olive Tapenade and Lavender Honey Goat Cheese

Like most people, I have a million things to do before leaving on a jet plane.  Not only am I embroiled in laundering, ironing (yes I iron my clothes before I fold them in a suitcase), deciding, printing, organizing, emailing, weather-checking, and of course packing, but there’s also a house to clean, a book to finish, a movie to see, and this here post to write.  Phew!  It’ll all happen, as it always does, and on Tuesday I’ll be happily (and a bit nervously) off on Air France flight 377.

Since I am heading to Provence, via Paris and Lyon, it’s about time I give you the ultimate Provençal appetizer, Black Olive Tapenade.  But before I head down that chemin, let me first thank Sara for awarding me the Sunshine Award.

Yet again, I have made a connection with an ex-pat in Provence and  I’m thrilled to be recognized–merci Sara!

Sara in Le Petit Village is one of my favorite ex-pat bloggers out there (and when I say “out there”, I mean that literally, since she lives in a remote, and yet-to-be-identified, village en Provence).  I mentioned her here also.  Check her out and follow her downright hilarious stories of ex-pat life.  However, there are rules to receiving this award, which include questions to be answered and sunshine to be distributed.  I’ll do that at the end of the post, in case I descend into rambling and lose you before you get Tapenade, which  you must have.  I insist.

Tapenade is one of the easiest appetizers to serve up as long as you have a food processor.  You can use any combination of black and green olives you so desire.  And don’t worry, even those who don’t care for olives tend to slather it on with reckless and salty abandon.  For fun, you can add in a roasted red pepper and make it a tri-color tapenade but don’t omit the anchovies, s’il vous plaît (!).  They get ground up and give the tapenade its signature salty flavor.  It was served, along with Lavender Honey Goat Cheese and Delinda’s Artichoke Dip, in the shade on a sweltering day in the north.  It was all we could do to linger over these snacks and sip iced rosé (Hurray!  I finally convinced them that it’s not white zin!).

Makes about 1 cup.  From Joanne Harris’ My French Kitchen.

Make sure you use olives from the olive bar, rather than the canned variety.  If you’re near a Whole Foods, go for niçoise, as they are tiny and from the region. Otherwise, Kalamata will do.  If you’d like to add in some green olives, use about 1/3 cup green and 2/3 cup black.

  • 1 cup pitted olives
  • 5 anchovies
  • 3 tbsp. capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • dash salt and pepper (optional)

Add all ingredients except olive oil to a food processor and pulse to combine. Stream in olive oil until you get a thick, but spreadable, paste.  Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.

Serve with small crackers or sliced baguette. 

Lavender Honey Goat Cheese makes a nice accompaniment.  If you don’t have lavender, use a pinch of cinnamon, or some herbes de Provence. Simply sprinkle a small log of goat cheese with about 1/2 tsp. dried lavender buds (I picked them and just let them hang out for a week on my dining room table).  Top with a tablespoon or two of honey and serve with the tapenade and crackers.

Now for the Sunshine Award.  The deal is I have to answer 10 random questions (and I’m doing so with limited commentary, in case you’re bored), then pass these questions along to 10  5 other bloggers.

Favorite Color:  Blue

Favorite Animal: Jasmine

Favorite Number: People have favorite numbers?  19, I guess.

Favorite Drink: Olivier LeFlaive, Puligny-Montrachet

Facebook or Twitter:  Facebook, but I should tweet since most bloggers do (a statement that Maeve recently pointed out would have been nonsensical five years ago)

Your Passion: Food and travel

Giving or Getting Presents: Giving.  It would be lame to say getting (but I mean it!)

Favorite Day:  Friday! ’nuff said

Favorite Flower: the tulip

And now to pass on the sunshine…

Meg Traveling

Munching in the Mitten

Bitzen Pieces

Backyard Provence

Midnight’s Mumblings

There.  I’m going to leave it at five, since there’s a suitcase calling my name.  Like my cousin Matt said when he heard about my upcoming travels, “that’s gonna be dope”.


About Liza M.

foodie, francophile, Ann Arborite, teacher, bookworm and self-professed latte-lover--come cook with me!
This entry was posted in appetizers, provencal. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Black Olive Tapenade and Lavender Honey Goat Cheese

  1. Pat says:

    No comments on the post – which look and sounds delicious, just a hearty bon voyage message to you and your traveling crew. xo

  2. megtraveling says:

    Have a wonderful time in France! I’m looking forward to hearing about your trip. And thank you so much for the award – I really appreciate it 🙂

  3. La Torontoise says:

    Liza, all,
    That’s a great and yet simple recepe!

    For a milder taste, you could possibly use a full cup of green olives and you could leave out the lemon juice. The black olives are mature and have a distinctive and intense taste.

    In your last post, you have a picture of ‘duo de tapenades’ and I found this an inspiring presentation for my dinner party (a la provencale) two nights ago.

    • Liza M. says:

      I’m so glad my picture inspired at least part of your dinner party. Maybe I’ll try a straight green olive tapenade next. I always go for the black because I love black olives so much. Thanks for the suggestion.

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