Tapenade is a staple appetizer at many a dinner party. And more often that not, this tapenade is store bought. Sad. Since it is unbelievably easy to make. I'm sure if you were to look in your pantry, you will find that you already have the ingredients to make a perfectly decent, perfectly gourmet-store-worthy hor d'oeuvre. But don't just stop there. Use as a sandwich spread, in soups, tossed in pasta. The possibilities are endless.
I have used kalamata olives here because they are sweeter than most other olives. Paired with dates, it produces a relatively fruity tapenade. However, you can use any olive on hand, paired with another dried fruit such as raisins or figs. Or take a savory approach with artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, or even cocktail onions. You simply can't go wrong here.
Kalamata Olive and Date Tapenade
Serves 4 to 5
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/4 cup pitted dates
1 tbsp capers
2 tbsp olive oil
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sherry (optional)
Soak dates in one cup of hot water for fifteen minutes. Drain. Add to food processor with remaining ingredients. Puree and pour into serving dish. Serve with dry toast or multigrain crackers.