Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tapenade or Pesto, Each Spell Love

Pardon my post today, while I digress from reading, to food.  They're a great combination though, if I do say so myself!

I'm a bit late in the game to Pesto sauces and Tapenades.  Come on.  I grew up in Idaho where the only sauces or spreads we used were butter, gravy, ketchup, or barbecue sauce.  Yes, not all that adventuresome when it comes to robust or spicy flavor profiles.  Several weeks ago we discovered this little Italian eatery in Kaneohe that introduced a basket of bread and the most wonderful black olive spread to us.  The thought of that black olive pesto spread has been calling my name ever since.

I have since decided that I have to try my hand at this great recipe, so I've tracked down a recipe that looks very similar to the one that we have eaten at this little restaurant.  The closest to the one I like is called "Black Olive Pesto Sauce" and was found at 

I actually am leaving out the orange zest, and instead including a small strand of roasted red peppers bottled in olive oil (Less than 2 Tbsp chopped).  I happen to keep roasted red peppers on hand now, after including them in quite a few of my pasta recipes and salads.  I think that the peppers are sweet and mild enough, that they will make up that last component I was looking for in this original recipe.  I know that a few other recipes call for capers, which I'm sure are very good in this as well, but I don't keep them on hand. 

Image thanks to Healthy Food For Living
The other delight I've been introduced to recently is Creamy Pesto dishes.  Who knew that pesto could be creamy?  So, I might be the last person on the planet to have discovered this delight, but it's now a "guilty pleasure" dish.  I know they sell packets of "Creamy Pesto" that you can whip up.  *shudders*  I'm just not sure though that a powdered version would get the flavor you're looking for?

Does it look like I'm hungry lately?  There is something about eating a food that you really enjoy and think you could fix for yourself that sticks in your mind.  I'm now feeling a bit inspired to see what I can do with these flavor profiles, especially in the case of the Black Olive Pesto/Tapenade.  These were two newer dishes for me that I really want to try, and will be sharing.

If you haven't had either of these dishes, I recommend that you try them as soon as possible. 

Does food ever strike you in a way that you HAVE TO find a recipe to recreate it?  One step further, do you ever find yourself inspired to create new dishes from the original that you had? 


  1. I have never had tapenade, actually--I'm not a fan of olives. Blech.

    I haven't tried to recreate recipes from a restaurant, but my mom to recreate grilled artichokes from a restaurant called White Chocolate in Denver. She got pretty close! Oh, and I asked a B&B we stayed in once for the recipe for their porridge.

  2. Ah! I'm sad you don't like olives,'s not hurting me, so why do I care? LOL. I love it when you can recreate something you love!