We’ve been back from France for nearly two weeks — another post for another time — and have been craving Provençale dishes. This had led to some delicious experiments with tapenade.
Tapenade — like pesto — is one of those basic ingredients worth keeping on hand because you can whip up dinner in no time. The complex flavor adds richness to pasta, fish or chicken (spread a layer on top before baking), or dab it on sliced rounds of crusty toasted bread. Here’s my favorite recipe:
In a food processor, blend: 1 cup pitted brined kalamata olives; 2 anchovy fillets; 1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped; 1 tablespoon capers; 2 tablespoons lemon juice (genius time saver: Minute Maid frozen lemon juice); 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil; 1/4 tsp herbes de Provence; 1/4 teaspoon cayenne; freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Last night I tried it on pizza. Whenever I make this dough (a half-recipe is enough for two large pies) I keep one portion in the freezer for the next time we need a quick meal. The result was somewhere between a traditional pizza and a more labor-intensive pissaladière. Note: You can use nearly any type of crust or even puff pastry if you’re feeling decadent and go more traditional with a rectangular baking sheet.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees F, or your hottest setting.
- Slice 1 1/2 large yellow onion into thin slices.
- Prepare pizza pan by oiling it and sprinkling with corn meal. I used a 14″ round.
- Shape pizza dough (this recipe’s a stand-out).
- Prebake the dough until it starts to turn light brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool. Lower oven temperature to 450 degrees F.
- Spread dough with a generous layer of tapenade.
- Cover evenly with the sliced onions.
- Top with a few sliced kalamata olives.
- Sprinkle with additional olive oil and herbes de Provence.
- Bake until onions soften, about 15 minutes.
- Cool slightly, slice, eat. Extra delicious with a glass of chilled Rosé.