Tapenade, an intensely flavored purée of black olives, anchovies, and seasonings, pairs well with meat, especially beef and lamb. It adds a deep, rich, slightly pungent flavor, and is wonderful to have on hand to put on sandwiches, pair with charcuterie plates, or use as a dip.
- 1 1/3 cups pitted brine-cured black olives, such as kalamata (about 7 ounces)
- 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained (optional)
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 cup loosely packed Italian parsley or basil leaves (or a mix of both)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons Cognac or brandy
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- Put all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender. (No salt is needed because the anchovies—if you’re using them—and olives are already salty.) Process, stopping to scrape down the sides occasionally with a rubber spatula, until you have a fairly smooth purée.
- Transfer to a container and set aside until needed, or refrigerate in a container with a tightfitting lid for up to 1 week.