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Sunday, August 5, 2007

Zeitun Tapenade

I know this post was going to be my entry for Nupur's A-Z of Indian Vegetables. But I am late for that, still posting it for you guys.

Zeitun is a Middle-Eastern term for Olives. In hindi it is called Jaitun and the same in Gujarati. (look here for the info)

It didn't originated from one language but perhaps a mix of different languages.

The olive is the only member of the Oleaceae to bear edible fruit. The fruit, a drupe like a peach, cannot be eaten fresh because of the presence of a bitter glucoside. Thus the olive must be processed in order to be served as food; either processed for its oil or processed with lye and salt to produce the canned or preserved table fruit. While fruit processed in California has almost all of the bitterness removed, that processed in the Mediterranean area is often left somewhat bitter.
Tapenade is a Provençal dish consisting of pureed or finely chopped olives, capers, and olive oil. Its name comes from the Provençal word for capers, tapéno. It is a popular food in the south of France, where it is generally eaten as an hors d’œuvre, spread on gourmet breads such as baguette or ciabatta. Sometimes it is also used to stuff fillets for a main course.

The recipe: Makes about 1/2 cup

1 cup of mixed olives, black and green
1 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed and dried (optional)
2 tsp lemon zest (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 to 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
lemon juice to taste

Put olives, parsley, garlic, capers, lemon zest and process it by drizzling olive oil from the feeding tube. Once its finely minced. Take it out in a bowl and adjust the seasonings.
Set aside for 30 minutes before serving. Serve it on a toasted sliced baguette (crostini) or eat with crackers or toasted pita bread. It's tastes so good.

The tapenade will keep in the refrigerator for a day or two, after that its flavors will deteriorate. You can make this tapenade using almost any olive, including the mixed olives sold at the olive bars common in upscale markets these days.

If you select the olives yourself, try a mix of kalamatas, picholines, cracked green, and California black.

Salted capers are available in good delis and markets.

P.S: Do not add salt as olives are very salty and if using capers they have lot of salt too.


bee said...

one of my favourite spreads. great looking dish.

Mishmash ! said...

ohh..i have never tasted this...absolutely new to me:P


musical said...

I love olives! this spread goes so well on thick, crispy toasts!! Great one, dear! I will try the olive combo you suggested.

Asha said...

Hey, never too late to educate us!!;D
I love this spread.I use it to make a sandwich called Po'boy (Poor boy) from New Orleans,tastes yum.Thanks for posting girl:)

Tee said...

Love olives! I have not tried the Tapenade before but I can just imagine how great it must be tasting. Have got a bottle of green olives...will try it soon. Thanks for the recipe!

Cynthia said...

I'm going to hold on to your recipe and make it soon.

Priyanka said...

Never heard of it before....keep learning something different from your blog..

Kajal said...

WOW.....every time you give me some new dish....form gujju girl cooks non gujju item very nice....Avi dish me gujarati ma nathi joi.....Keep it up.:)

Foodie said...

Thanks bee.

Mishmash try it and I am sure you will love it.

Musical really it is a very rich spread and often thought of as a gourmet spread.
Ashaji I always love your comments you know that. Really wait for it.

Tee you will love this tapenade once you try it. And you can do variation to this recipe by using different olives and ingredients. There is no one recipe for tapenade, it can be made according to the taste preference.

Cynthia, Girl I love your comments.
Priyanka thankyou for your comments
Kajal, I love to be jack of all trade rather than master of one. It's good to try out new stuff, isn't it??