Welcome to the world of culinary exploration! Today, I am thrilled to introduce you to a delight that will elevate your appetizer game, the Olive Tapenade!
This savory, briny spread is a staple in Mediterranean cuisine, renowned for its unique combination of flavors and textures. But, we’re not stopping there. To complement this, we’re pairing it with the star of our board, the Bellavitano Cheese.
Bellavitano Cheese, with its rich, creamy texture and unique flavor profile, truly makes this appetizer a symphony of taste. The harmony created by the tangy, salty olive tapenade, and the creamy, nutty Bellavitano is a match made in culinary heaven.
Choosing Your Olives
The olives you use to make your tapenade can make all the difference. Despite having different flavour profiles, black and green olives work nicely together to produce a tapenade that is harmonious and bright.
Black olives, with their deep, robust flavor and a hint of sweetness, lend a satisfying depth to our tapenade. On the other hand, green olives, famous for their bright, tangy punch, add a freshness that beautifully contrasts and highlights the darker tones of the black ones.
Can You Just Use One?
Now, you may be wondering, “Can I use just one type of olive in my tapenade?” The answer is, absolutely! The beauty of cooking lies in the freedom of expression, and the same goes for this olive tapenade.
If you prefer the hearty flavor of black olives or the zesty tang of green ones, feel free to create your mono-olive tapenade. However, remember that blending both varieties can create a more complex, layered flavor experience.
Cheese Choices: Beyond Bellavitano
Like the perfect pair of earrings to a stunning dress, the right cheese can truly enhance the allure of your olive tapenade. While our recipe features the exquisite Bellavitano, there is a world of cheeses out there waiting for you to explore.
Whether it’s the creaminess of a Brie, the tang of a classic Cheddar, or the saltiness of Feta, every cheese brings its unique personality to the tapenade appetizer. Feel free to experiment with your personal favorites or try something entirely new.
The Unique Contribution of Bellavitano Cheese
Now, let’s talk about the Bellavitano Cheese, the star of our recipe. This cheese, with its creamy yet crumbly texture, is an adventure in every bite. Its rich, nutty flavor coupled with the subtle sweetness makes it the perfect companion for our olive tapenade.
When you bite into a crostini topped with a slice of Bellavitano and a generous layer of our olive tapenade, it’s a celebration of flavors that’s simply unmatchable.
Prepping For Your Olive Tapenade Appetizer
Before you dive into creating this delightful appetizer, it’s important to have everything set up and ready. From the selection of the freshest olives to the sharpness of your food processor blades, every little detail plays a role in creating the perfect tapenade.
You’ll also want to have your cheese of choice on hand and a crisp, fresh baguette ready to be sliced into crostinis.
Prepping in Advance
Olive tapenade, honestly, it’s kind of a superpower snack. Why, you might ask? Well, because it’s got this amazing talent to keep its zesty zing, even when you whip it up way before you need it. Planning a get-together?
Maybe just hankering for a tasty bite in the middle of the day? Either way, you’re covered. But remember! If you want to keep that yummy goodness in top shape, storage is the way to get it done.
When stored in the right container in the fridge, your tapenade can remain fresh for up to a week. This will also allow the flavors to mature over time. Just be sure to give it a good stir before serving.
How to Make Olive Tapenade
Now, the wonderful thing about this appetizer is just how easy it is to whip up! Make sure to check the recipe card below for all the details.
- Blend – Once the olives and ingredients are ready to go, toss them into your food processor. Then, just pulse them until they are broken up pretty well. No need to be smooth with this one. Then, remove the mixture from the processor and put into a serving bowl.
- Bread – To get the best results from the bread, use a grill. While it’s heating up, brush olive oil onto one side. When they are prepared, put them onto the grill with the olive oil side up. Grill for 2 minutes. Then flip them over and give that side 30 seconds.
- Enjoy – When you serve your appetizer, you can put it out for your guests to enjoy. Either put the tapenade onto the bread, or just leave it in the serving bowl, so your friends can apply it themselves.
Can It Be Frozen?
While our Olive Tapenade is sure to be a hit at your next gathering or even as a tasty treat for yourself, you might find yourself with more than you can consume in a week. Fear not, because tapenade is surprisingly freezer-friendly!
Freezing Your Olive Tapenade
You can absolutely freeze your olive tapenade. The key is to store it in a freezer-safe, airtight container to protect it from freezer burn.
You can also portion it out into smaller containers, making it easier to thaw only the amount you need.
Thawing and Using Frozen Tapenade
Simply move the container from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. Give it a good stir when it has thawed to mix any separated oils back into the tapenade. Then you can enjoy your tapenade once more.
Do note that while freezing won’t significantly alter the flavor of your tapenade, the texture may become a bit softer. However, it will still be delicious and ready to elevate your appetizers!
Does tapenade need to be refrigerated?
Yes, tapenade should be refrigerated. When stored in an airtight container in the fridge, your tapenade can stay fresh for up to a week, allowing the flavors to meld and mature over time.
Where was tapenade invented?
Tapenade was invented in the Mediterranean region, specifically in Provence, France. The name comes from the word for capers. It’s a popular Mediterranean cuisine, well known for its unique combination of flavors and textures.
Olive Tapenade Appetizer
- Food Processor
- 1 Wedge of Bellavitano Cheese
- 1 Cup Black olives, pitted
- 1 Cup Green olives
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil
- 2 Cloves garlic
- 1/2 Lemon
- Salt and Pepper
- Combine black olives, green olives and garlic in food processor. Process on low until the pieces are chopped finely and well mixed.
- Add the juice from the 1/2 lemon, olive oil, and salt & pepper (to taste).
- Continue processing for a few more seconds until the mixture is combined very well.
- The time will depend on how small you want the pieces. I used by Nutri Ninja Blender and processed it on low for about 20 – 30 seconds total.
- Serve this with the Bellavitano Cheese sliced on top of a crostini and then topped with olive tapenade.
More Delicious Appetizers
If you’re looking to improve your appetizer selection, consider these: