I’ve posted recipes for other tapenades in the past and every time I do I learn something new. At first I noted that tapenades are a Provincial French ingredient, then upon further research I find out that olive tapenade may have its origins in ancient Greece. And now upon further research I find another Greek connection: the word tapenade comes from the word tapeno, which is what a caper bud was called in Provençal. The capers would be crushed giving tapenade. So the original tapenade was made mainly of capers. Now capers appear to have been brought to Provence by the Greeks who founded Marseille in 600 B.C., so there is your Greek connection. Also the word caper comes from the Latin name capparis, which actually comes from Greek word kapparis (caper in Greek). Today tapenades are known to contain mainly olives, but here is a tapenade that has sun-dried tomatoes as its main ingredient, I tasted this recipe in Sicily and gave it a try as I had plenty of sun-dried tomatoes that I bought at the market over there. This tapenade is a bit pungent as it contains garlic, but it is tasty and delicious and you only need a small amount. And of course all the ingredients have a multitude of benefits: olive oil, capers, nuts, tomatoes and garlic all good sources of antioxidants and the good fats. This will go well with breadsticks, I also like to accompany tapenades with mini Cretan barley rusks.
Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (about 50 grams)
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup nuts such as walnuts or sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1 garlic clove
- 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
DIRECTIONS 1. If tomatoes are dry, soak in warm water for 10 minutes. If they are in oil rinse them. 2. Grind the nuts into a powder in a food processor 3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until you have a paste. If it is too dry add some warm water.