Thursday, August 4, 2011


This evening I decided to use up a backlog of olives by making tapenade. I searched around for vegetarian versions and found that capers seemed to be the generally agreed substitute for anchovies.

Scorning such niceties as exact quantities of ingredients, I squashed my olives with a big knife to remove the stones, chopped them roughly and chucked them into the mortar with a squashed clove of garlic and a spoonful of drained capers.

The olives were a mixture of kalamatas marinated in olive oil with lemon and chili from the wonderful Boroondara Farmers Market. Some miscellaneous green and stuffed olives had been languishing for a few days in the same marinade.

Adding a little more of the marinade and some lemon juice, I worked the mix with the pestle until it was broken down but still a bit chunky. Then I added some chopped rosemary and a few pine nuts and ground it up a bit more. Finally some coarsely ground pepper and a bit more lemon juice, and it was ready to scoop into a bowl and serve with some olive bread croutons (made from olive bread thinly sliced and dried out in the oven).

Not exactly a recipe which would pass the MasterChef test of being able to be reproduced exactly by any competent cook carefully following the instructions, but it worked for me.