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How to Make a Harlequin Tapenade

Updated on June 8, 2011
Mixed friesh olives from the local market.
Mixed friesh olives from the local market.
Diced olives
Diced olives
Diced red pepper
Diced red pepper

How it all happens

Green & Black Olives

Red, Orange, Yellow bell pepper



Everyone has had Tapenade at least once in their lives. That rich, almost buttery goo that looks like Black Bean dip but is really black olives, capers and anchovies. Well, for those who like a little more color and who have a bit of a sense of humor I devised a goof on the traditional Tapenade that I call a Harlequin Tapenade, both because of the colors and the fact that it is a goof....

Anyway, this dish is best with really good olives. Today most markets have some kind of Olive Bar or Mediteranean Bar with a copious selection. If you don't have a pitter and don't want to risk loosing a finger tip you should stick to the pitted ones (unstuffed). Also, live it up, Get some olives you may not be familiar with. You will also want a shallot and one clove of fresh garlic, 1/4 of a red, yellow and orange bell pepper. Some markets will carry cleaned and ready for chopping shallots and garlic.

Now, this can be a labor intensive dish, but it is worth it.

You want to chop each olive as finely as you can. Then, slice the pepper into thin long strips and again chop down as finely as you can. Being irregular is fine, the variety in the textures is one of the goals over a traditional Tapenade. Next, you want to chop the shallot and garlic, again, as finely as you can.

Now you want to combine all of the chopped ingredients with about 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil in a warm pan. Stir until everything has warmed. This releases the sugars in the olives and peppers and mellows the garlic and shallots. Remove to a bowl, dust with a little grated cheese and you are ready to serve. I would recommend either a slice of fresh baguet or some pettit toast. Goes very well with a nice Savignon Blanc or unoaked Chardonnay.

If you try this recipe, don't worry if yours is not exaclty the same. Mine are different every time. It is a goof so it should be fun. Aslo, if you have any comments please leave them bellow.



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      Cheryl 6 years ago

      This is tasty cold, but the peppers dominate the taste. Warm it up, and the olive taste shines through! I prefer warm.