Sunday, April 22, 2012

Don't Panic! Olive Tapenade.

           So, here I am, one month later, sitting on my couch, waiting to give birth. My mom arrives this afternoon, so I managedto keep this kid inside long enough for her to be present, which I consider to be a major victory after 2 attempts and failures (first, 10 days early, missed by 24 hours, second, 4 weeks early, didn't bother trying for the 3rd).
           Meanwhile, I'm left thinking about what I can make for the shisha after this little girl is born. Many people aren't aware of the very old Sephardic custom of welcoming a girl on her 6th day of life, not unlike having a brit for a boy on his 8th day, but with less blood and more casual. The naming ceremony is repeated, everyone says Mazal Tov (and hopefully they mean it!) and then we all have a nice chance to admire the baby and eat. My plan for serving food is to have lots of salads and spreads to go on fresh pitas, because most can be made days, if not weeks in advance. So, here is my first "don't panic" recipe-Olive tapenade! (we recently had a guest for Shabbat who loved this stuff and I told him I would post the recipe. I never thought it would take so long, however.)
You will need a food processor or blender for best results.

Canned green olives
pickled capers
oil (preferably olive, but any kind is fine)

How to: Peel your cloves of garlic (2 cloves per can of olives is my standard, but you can do more or less, depending on how much you love it) and put them through a garlic press or chop them up finely. Drain olives. put olives, garlic, a few tsp of oil and 8-10 capers into food processor and grind up liberally. Add more oil if needed to achieve a semi-smooth consistency. THAT'S IT! Seriously, wasn't that easy?
I love this stuff spread on challah, pitas, and it makes a really nice addition to grilled cheese. it keeps forever in the fridge (6 months) and gets more mellow with time. This recipe also totally invites ad-libbing ingredients. you could add roasted red peppers, cook the garlic, add lemon juice instead of some of the oil, add whatever fresh herb is lying around (basil or oregano would be nice), anything really, and come out with an AMAZING spread.

1 comment:

Sophie F said...

Dear Ahava,
I discovered your blog yesterday, through Rachel Held Evan's website. My name is Sophie Marie, I am twenty, and I live in the United States (also a redhead!) I am Roman Catholic and I have Lebanese origins; this said, I am fully supportive of Israel and wish the two countries would someday have friendly, peaceful relations (it would be quite thriving for the region). Israel is on my list of countries to visit soon, and I am completely fascinated by the Jewish religion and culture (I am trying to learn Hebrew, I can understand it a little; also I always make Jewish food to my family). A while ago, I even wanted to convert to Judaism; but to be honest, I am not too practising in the first place. Maybe if I marry a Jewish man... :) I must admit I have been reading your blog entirely; it is really fascinating. What I am most impressed by is how you seem so happy and fulfilled by a life revolving around faith and family. These days women are encouraged to have a career and thrive professionally before thinking of marriage and children. Although this is the path I wish to follow, I have been inspired by the way you care so much about your family, and wish someday to create a home that is comfortable and welcoming to my family and friends.
I look forward to read more of your inspiring posts;
Sophie Marie