Sunday, September 28, 2008

Summertime Tapenade

Technically, this is not a true tapenade. But the bold presence of the black olives made me call it that. I think it has a nice ring..

chopped perfectly ripe tomatoes (don't even think about making this in the winter! use olive-oil-soaked sun-dried tomatoes if you do. and leave out the cucumber.)
~ I have discovered dry-farmed tomatoes this season. oh. my god. ~
diced Armenian cucumber (discovered that this season, too.. )
minced garlic
chopped oil-cured black olives, with the brine set aside
freshly toasted cumin
freshly toasted coriander
sea salt to taste
chili flakes to taste

Combine these ingredients to meet your needs. I used enough small early girl tomatoes to fill my two hands, and diced enough cucumber to fill it out nicely, but not densely (then I ate the rest of the cucumber slice-by-slice as I prepared dinner!). I minced 4 regular-sized garlic cloves, and chopped.. 8 olives, because that's what was in the fridge. I toasted a little more than a teaspoon of cumin seeds, and a little less than a teaspoon of coriander. Toasting spices brings out their flavor; I can't recommend this highly enough. It's really worth the few extra minutes of effort and attention. You will smell when they're done. Trust your nose. Add the reserved olive brine to your taste. Then the sea salt and chili flakes.

We ate this atop grilled lamb chops.
Then the next day, after it had had a chance to meld overnight, I ate the remainder on my scrambled eggs.

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