A Bit of History:
Olive trees symbolize endurance, eternity, and peace. However, you won’t need an endurance effort to craft this easy, 5-minute Sun-Dried Tomato Olive Tapenade. Olives have an incredible ability to adapt to a multitude of environments; including temperature fluctuations, soil changes, and salt water. In fact, the oldest known olive tree that still bears fruit is over 3000 years old and can be found on the isle of Crete. Today there are over 500 different types of olive trees and a whopping 800 million olive trees growing.
Olives feature in numerous cultures and myths worldwide. For example, in Greek mythology, Zeus honors Athena for bestowing an olive tree as a gift. In addition, historical records demonstrate that olives made up a significant portion of exports from ancient Crete (Food in History by Reay Tannahill). Then, ancient Egyptians imported the olives from Crete and Greece. Historians even discovered olive branches in the tomb of King Tut. Across many cultures, people used olive oil to anoint kings, to bestow honor, and even to grace Olympic champions.
About the Recipe: Sun-dried Tomato Olive Tapenade
My family enjoys olives prepared in many ways and the recipe is below is one of our favorite preparations. We love this tapenade as an appetizer, a topping for grains/pasta, as a dip for raw vegetables, or as part of a baguette sandwich night. It can be prepared in minutes! Garnish with a bit of sliced green garlic for an extra burst of flavor.
Sun-Dried Tomato Olive Tapenade
- 2 cups pitted mixed olives
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 jar roasted red peppers
- 2 tbsp capers
- 1 tbsp Calabrian chili peppers (or less if sensitive to spice)
- 6 cloves garlic peeled
- Add all ingredients to a blender and pulse until desired consistency is obtained. Taste and add additional chili peppers if desired. Store in the refrigerator.
- Serve as a topping for baguettes, crostini, grains, pasta, and cucumber slices.
Looking for some other great easy appetizers? Try these Ultratruffle favorites: