This easy green olive tapenade combines olives with umami-packed anchovies, aromatic preserved lemons, and crunchy almonds to create an incredibly versatile condiment.
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One of the keys to effortless hosting—and to being able to welcome last-minute guests—is to keep staples in the pantry and the fridge. Come late November, I make sure to keep favorite snacks on hand, such as terrines, pâtés, crackers, olives, hummus, marinated feta, and cocktail nuts. I also make sure to always have a bottle of white or bubbly wine in the fridge. Having these things at the ready means I’m always ready for spontaneous gatherings, which to me are the best kind.
One homemade condiment I like to keep at the back of the fridge is tapenade, a chunky, olive-based spread. You can make tapenade using any olive variety and all kinds of flavorings, which makes it super versatile. You can serve it at happy hour with crudités, crackers, pita chips, or fresh or toasted baguette slices, or use it to enhance a quick meal, such as grilled or braised meats, fish, and seafood. You can also use it to dress up pasta or swirl into risotto. What’s best: tapenade pretty much keeps forever if refrigerated in an airtight jar (see storage tips in the recipe, below), and it couldn’t be easier to make: simply blend everything together and enjoy.
I share my three favorite tapenade varieties in my cookbook, French Appetizers, but this is a recent variation that has climbed its way to the top of my list. Green olives are blended with umami-packed anchovies and preserved lemons to create an incredibly addictive flavor, and whole roasted almonds to add a delicious crunch. I like to keep this tapenade chunkier than usual so you get to enjoy its fantastic texture at each bite.
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