Sunday, December 1, 2013

Roasted Garlic and Shallot Olive Tapenade

I knew telling myself that this weekend would be a good time to kick start a pre-winter health reformation would wind up a huge joke.  Who even tells them that before Thanksgiving?  Idiots do.  I'm an idiot.

So, while I stood in front of a rack of vegetables for a long while in the grocery store today hoping I'd be inclined to roast some leeks or do something new with cauliflower, none of it looked good.  I resorted to flipping through numbers of cooking magazines looking for something inspirational, but came up with nothing.  It didn't help that I wasn't hungry in the least.  I ate half a large pizza for dinner last night.

I mustered up enough motivation to act on the idea that I could make something out of the usual stash of olives I keep around for snacking.  Tapenade would definitely help wean me off bready, rich holiday food (and pizza).  It was also a very low-maintenance option, which is key for finding enough time to break away from the hundreds of pages of Thucydides I'm trying to speed through to catch up in grad school.

This tapenade is going to be much smoother and richer than other recipes thanks to the addition of a heavy dose of roasted garlic and shallots.  It would be great on a sandwich which some of your leftover turkey, or on pizza... I went the simple route with some crusty bread smeared with fresh tomato and topped with arugula. 
Ingredients (makes about 1.5 cups):
  • 3/4 cup whole, pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup whole, pitted green olives
  • 1/2 cup whole, pitted black olives
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare the shallots and garlic for roasting by peeling the shallots and cutting the top off the head of garlic to expose the cloves.  Coat both in  1/2 tbsp. of olive oil and salt.  Wrap the garlic in aluminum foil.  Roast together in a baking dish for 40 minutes.
When the garlic and shallots have cooled a bit, remove the softened garlic from the skin.  Blend with the shallots and black olives until smooth.
Add the green and kalamata olives, olive oil, lemon juice, and parmesan.  Pulse until it reaches the consistency you prefer.  Add any salt and pepper to taste.
Serve as a dip, appetizer, or sandwich spread.  The toasts below have crushed fresh tomato and arugula.

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