The sun came out today and it suddenly felt, and smelled, like summer. Fortunately, I’d noticed a half a bottle of olives in the fridge when I was doing a clear-out. (No one else in my family throws anything away, and the moulds that grow when I’m on the other side of the world are truly magnificent.) For us, few things say†summer¬†like a bowl of tapenade. I use ordinary ingredients, most of which come from the supermarket or Trader Joe’s, but this simple dip sweeps me to the south of France, with lavender-scented sunshine and a cool ros√©¬†from the local cooperative. The recipe comes from a cookbook I turn to often,¬†Kitchen Suppers¬†by Jenny Baker. I stick quite closely to her version, far more closely than I do to most cookery writers, but I add extra thyme for a taste of the Berkshires. Our climate is very different from that of the south of France, but we too have hillsides covered with¬†wild thyme and it grows here and there in my garden.
- 1 clove garlic
- 50g (2 oz) can anchovy fillets
- 225g (8 oz) pitted black olives ¬Ė I use a bottle Greek olives from Trader Joe¬ís2 T capers ¬Ė again, from Trader Joe's
- 1 t Dijon mustard ¬Ė also from Trader Joe's
- 1 t brandy or lemon juice, or a bit of each
- 4 T olive oil
- Black pepper, thyme (I use fresh, because it's summer), and nutmeg to taste
- Blend the garlic and anchovies in the food processor, or chop finely by hand.
- Add the other ingredients and process till fairly smooth.
- Serve with crackers, vegetables (celery is my favorite), or fresh crusty bread.