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There's Traditional Tapenade And Then There's THIS: Tomato-Almond Tapenade

There's nothing like salty, savory tapenade spread across a crispy baguette to make you feel as if you've been transported to the Mediterranean. Typically, this appetizer is made from the bounty of southern France -- ripe olives, capers and olive oil -- but the authors of In A Nutshell infuse a few more flavors to kick things up a notch. Their twist on tradition adds almonds and sun-dried tomatoes to perfectly fit with the other sunny Provençal ingredients. Serve this with mild goat cheese to add a bit of tangy creaminess.

Tomato-Almond Tapenade
Recipe from Cara Tannenbaum and Andrea Tutunjian

tomato almond tapenade

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients
1 c. sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated*
1 c. slivered almonds, toasted
2 cloves garlic
1 1⁄2 c. pitted black Kalamata olives
1⁄3 c. freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp. drained capers, rinsed
2 Tbsp. freshly chopped basil
1⁄3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄4 c. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Thinly sliced and lightly toasted baguette

Directions

In the work bowl of a food processor, process the sun-dried tomatoes, almonds and garlic until finely chopped, about 1 minute. Add the olives, parsley, capers, and basil. Pulse about 10 times, or until the mixture is roughly chopped.

Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the olive oil and vinegar. The spread will be almost black, with flecks of red and gold. Season with the salt and pepper.

Chill for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days in a tightly sealed container. Bring to room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Serve with the toasted slices of baguette.

* Rehydrating Dried Tomatoes
To rehydrate sun-dried tomatoes, place them in a small saucepan and pour in enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat and remove from the heat immediately. Allow the tomatoes to stand for 5 minutes, then drain.

An even easier olive-based appetizer: Balsamic Olive Hors D'oeuvres that look gourmet

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