Olive Tapenade Spread with an Italian-Style Sandwich
Today we are going to take a look at how to make a homemade olive tapenade spread that can be used a number of ways (tossed in pasta like pesto is one example, though it is especially good in cold pasta) but that is truly wonderful when used in Italian-style sandwiches.
It is salty and full of bold flavours that work so very well with meats like proscuitto or mortadella.
To make the tapenade you need the following:
1 cup of kalamata olives, pitted
3 tablespoon capers
3 anchovy filets
3 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs of fresh parsley
2 pinches of red pepper flakes
a couple of squirts of lemon juice
extra virgin olive oil (you really do want to use as good an olive oil as you can for this)
Take all of the ingredients other than the olive oil and put them in a blender or food processor. Pulse them until they begin to be finely chopped and then add olive oil to achieve a liquid consistency in the spread that you like. I don't like mine too oily so usually add only a couple of tablespoons, but you will find your happy level with a little practice!
Now, as I said, this can be used in a number of ways, but is perfect on an Italian-style sandwich. To make this first you want some very fresh baguette style bread. If you can get the half-loaves that are "submarine sandwich" sized that is ideal.
My favourite Italian sandwich starts by cutting the loaf down the middle length wise into two halves and then spreading a healthy layer of the tapenade across one of these halves.
Then place a layer (or two!) each of spicy sopressata style salami, proscuitto and spicy or mild mortadella.
Top this with a layer of provolone cheese and then other toppings you like. Tomatoes. romaine lettuce and thinly sliced onions are good ones. Some like to drizzle a little Italian dressing on to it but I like to add a layer of Italian-style marinated hot peppers in olive oil. Experiment!
This is ideal backyard or patio food perfect with late nights, parties, friends, beers or a nice red wine.
(This recipe was originally posted on The Left Chapter blog, June 14, 2017)