How To Make A Tapenade

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How to Make a Tapenade

Anyone who enjoys eating olives knows that it is fairly easy to incorporate them into your daily life. This includes foods such as anchovy-stuffed olives, Sicilian green olive salad, and a handful of the  Castelvetrano variety brought to work in a container. However, it can be tiresome only to have whole olives all of the time. If this is the case, you may want to try making a tapenade for a party or to have as a snack whenever you wish.

It’s possible to make a tapenade without going by a recipe. You can create a delicious tapenade at home within 30 minutes. Follow these instructions, and you’ll have a gorgeous tapenade in no time. You will love how easy it is to create this spread.

Gather Up Ingredients

The two ingredients that you need are olives and capers. This is the most basic version of tapenade, though you will want to add some other things such as salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil and even anchovies for a stronger flavor.

What type of olives you end up choosing for this depend on your own preference. Choose them carefully, and make sure that you have 2 cups of pitted olives. You may go with Kalamata or green, or you can mix these together. Herbs are a great addition, including thyme, rosemary, basil and oregano among others.  They are best when you get them fresh.

Blend the Ingredients

Use a food processor to create a thick paste from all of the ingredients, besides the olive oil.

Add In Olive Oil

While the food processor is still going, put olive oil in slowly. The tapenade will become slightly more chunky. This should take about a minute or two. Consider if there is oil included in with the olives already to determine how much you will need, but it typically will be from 2 tablespoons to a half cup of oil. Season this mixture with pepper and salt.

Enjoy

Put the tapenade on some crackers, or if you’d prefer, on bread. It is the perfect addition to a sandwich, and it also makes an excellent gift for fellow olive lovers.

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Why You Should Love Spanish Olive Oil

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Did you know that upwards of 70% of the world’s olive oil is fake?

That is not to say that it is not natural, or is made from chemicals, but 70% of the “olive oil” on the market — that is marketed as pure olive oil — is not actually pure olive oil. How can this be? This is because olive oil counterfeiters have gotten so good at faking olive oil that most of the professional tasters cannot tell the difference between the real stuff and fake olive oil.

“Fake” olive oil still contains a good portion of “real” olive oil, but is cut with low grade oils from other plants to reduce the cost of the oil. Though the manufacturers save money on creating the oil, they often still sell it as high grade olive oil and for a higher price. This practice has become so prominent in countries from Italy to Greece to India, that the market is flooded with degraded olive oil and has been for decades. This being said, just because an olive oil brand looks fancy or has an Italian flag on the label does not mean that you are buying the best quality olive oil from Italy.

So Why Are You Spending More Money For Fancy Italian Olive Oil?

178465459In our years of experience with Italian cooking and world cuisine, we have found that the best olive oil for Italian dishes and cooking in general comes from Spain and the Iberian Peninsula. Spanish olive Oil is bold with a semi-fruity hint, and just like a fine wine will reflect the subtle notes of the olives used in pressing the oil. There are several brands that are our personal favorites, but a good Spanish olive oil should be so flavorful that you could eat it by itself or drizzled over crusty home baked bread. Once you have first tasted a bright Spanish olive oil, you will keep going back it and keep your kitchen fully stocked with with this golden elixir.

What Type of Spanish Olive Oil Should I Buy?

495415423“Imported from Spain” is what you want to see on the label. If the label says “Product of Catalonia,” that is even better. There are many good olive growing regions in Spain, and local and small bottlers all have their merits. Many Spanish olive oils you find will have their labels in both Spanish/English and Arabic. Spain has a large Muslim population that uses large amounts of olive oil in their dishes, because of this many of the local olive oil pressers market directly to the Muslim community.

In short, you really need to let your taste buds guide you when you are searching for a good olive oil for overall use in your kitchen. Of course, we have done a lot of tasting and have found our personal favorites which we will share with you. All of our selections are our favorites for general use and have good mild flavors, but don’t be afraid to try some of the specialty Spanish olive oils for unique flavors and interesting uses.

Our Favorite Spanish Olive Oils

(Click The Products To Get Them For Your Kitchen Today!)

Betis Olive Oil From Seville

Merula — Named One of the Top 6 Olive Oils in the World!

Castillo de Canena Picual — A Peppery Finish!

Try out these olive oils for yourself, and happy cooking!