February 27, 2010

tapenade, vegan tapenade, homemade crostini, crackers, vgourmet, Ruth Richardson

Did you know that most traditional tapenade has anchovies in it? I naively bought some tapenade in one of my favourite stores and promptly wolfed it down on really nice home-made crostini. I decided I really like tapenade. So the next time I had a craving I decided to make it. I had olives. I had salt. What else could you need? Well, after going through 5 or 6 recipe books I soon realized that you need anchovies! Of course, you don’t need anchovies. It’s just that, as I said, most traditional tapenade has anchovies in it. So I modified the recipe and now I love it even more!

The other thing I should say here is that 2 of the things I found particularly  difficult about going vegan were breakfast and snacks. Breakfast was often milk-based, as it is for many of us with few apparent alternatives. And snacks were usually really cheesy because cheese is so good and so easy to grab on the go, or nibble on before dinner, or stick on a piece of toast (one of my childhood favourites). I’ll tell you about my breakfast routine later. As for snacks, I’ve discovered the joys of things like hummous and tapenade and other vegan delights.

Here’s the recipe which I’ve doubled for you since it’s too good and too convenient to make just one batch.

1 cup black olives (get really good quality ones like Silver Leaf Kalamata Pitted in extra virgin olive oil)

2 tbsps capers, rinsed and drained

2 garlic cloves (or more depending on your tolerance for garlic)

2 or 3 springs of thyme, leaves only

1 tsp brandy

1/3 cup olive oil

Salt to taste

Throw it all into a food processor and blend until you get the consistency you like. Let it sit at room temperature for awhile so the flavours meld. Spread it on really yummy homemade crostini and snack away.