Black Olive Tapenade

Published November 1, 2013. From Cook's Illustrated.

Why this recipe works:

Most olive tapenade recipes include every ingredient but the kitchen sink and lack balanced olive flavor. For the best olive character, we use a ratio of 3 parts bright, fruity, water- or brine-cured olives to 1 part earthy, rich, salt-cured olives. To ensure that the olives take center stage,… read more

Most olive tapenade recipes include every ingredient but the kitchen sink and lack balanced olive flavor. For the best olive character, we use a ratio of 3 parts bright, fruity, water- or brine-cured olives to 1 part earthy, rich, salt-cured olives. To ensure that the olives take center stage, we use a judicious hand with supporting ingredients like capers, anchovies, garlic, mustard, and olive oil. Finally, to temper saltiness and provide a creamy texture, we incorporate a quick homemade butter of untoasted pine nuts. Our tapenade works equally well as a spread for crusty bread or as a dressing for pasta, boiled potatoes, or salad greens.

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Makes about 1 1/2 cups

The tapenade must be refrigerated for at least 18 hours before serving. It’s important to use untoasted pine nuts in this recipe so that they provide creaminess but little flavor of their own. We prefer the rich flavor of kalamata olives, but any high-quality brine-cured black olive, such as niçoise, Sicilian, or Greek, can be substituted. Do not substitute brine-cured olives for the salt-cured olives. Serve the tapenade as a spread with sliced crusty bread or as a dip with raw vegetables.

Ingredients

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