Every summer, we join my parents in their summer home in California. There is a tiny kosher grocery about 25 minutes away with the absolute essentials and not much else-- at least not compared to the giant kosher emporiums of today, with their walls of dips, spreads, and cold salads to cater to the whim of all kinds of challah eaters over the tri-state area. So I was a bit surprised to see olive tapenade on the Shabbat table that first week, especially since my mother didn't know where it had come from either! It made no difference as the entirely family fought over every last garlicky drop.
The following week, I noticed my brother going outside by the pool before we sat down for the meal. Well, the mystery was solved: one of the boys from the wonderful Syrian family who lived behind us knew that my brother loves nothing more than olive dip, and each week would sneak a bowl of it over the wall to my brother! Since then I have been whipping it up for Shabbat, and each time I do, I have to restrain myself from polishing off the entire recipe!
Tapenade is a French spread made from olives and olive oil, similar to olive dip, although olive dip is mayo based. If your family likes olives, they will adore this dip. Try spreading tapenade on crusty bread and topping it with flaked tuna, or spread on a raw chicken cutlet before baking. It's also delicious tossed with pasta or atop a piece of broiled fish.
20 oz. can pitted olives, green or black, drained well (you can rinse olives if you are watching your sodium intake or prefer it to be less salty.)
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
1 cube crushed garlic (I love 2 cubes but my kids do NOT!)
(optional: 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 Tbsp capers, black pepper)
Place all ingredients in a food processor (I use my mini one-- love that thing!), and process.
You can stop while it's chunky or process till smooth, it's delish either way!
Olive spread will last in your fridge for up to 1 week.