Friday, October 1, 2010

Kalamata Basil Tapenade... and my first catering job

Introduction to the story of how I got my first catering job

A couple days ago Honey hosted 'Ladies Night Out' at his office. It's an annual thing they do at each office for their lady patients. I, as the dutiful wife get to go and schmooze with his fabulous patients. I'm ok with this. It's super fun, everyone is very nice and it gives me a chance to get to know some of his patients and socialize with the staff a little. I'm sure they all think I'm a recluse since I'm rarely at any of the events. Bad wife. Bad. (Note to self: work on that)

This year, the day before the event Honey asked me to go to the store and get some cheese. Actually he said 'can you put together a cheese tray? You know, like the ones you and L'erin make?' I like this. L'erin will like this too. My response of course was yes but I couldn't leave it there.

The story of how I got my first catering job

I asked my sweet Honey if there would be more than just cheese to eat (mostly because I remember being famished when I went last) and he said no. Then I, in my true-to-form party planning frenzy mode informed him that he 'just couldn't' serve wine and not have any food. Just couldn't. I made it quite clear that it was just not good hosting to feed people wine and not have some bites to go with it; like my parsley pesto bruschetta and this recipe (yes, it's coming!) the kalamata basil tapenade.

He seemed to see my point because at this juncture in our conversation, I forced him to let me he enthusiastically asked if I would make some delicious appetizers for the gals. What else could I do but flip my hair and graciously ablidge? He is my husband after all...

This is the story of how I got my first catering job. I do realize that I am the only one calling it a catering job. I also realize that it probably can't be called a catering job if my husband was the 'client', I totally didn't get paid and it was completely may or may not have been my idea.

Silver Lining

The cool thing is that I actually do have a catering job this weekend!

Ok. That might be a little over reaching. Similar situation: my BFF EFF EFF! is getting married tomorrow and she asked me to make my parsley pesto bruschetta for the vegan appetizer option. Also no money involved in this delicious transaction... and I don't want any. I do it for the lurve. I'm stoked.

Man, my bruschetta sure knows how to rock a party. It's more popular than I am! Don't laugh. It is completely true may or may not be true.

The bruschetta is super delicious and needed an equally delicious partner in crime. Queue the Kalamata Basil Tapenade. Salty from the kalamata olives, sweet from the basil, tang from the garlic all wrapped up in a pretty looking dish, permeating delicious garlic and paired perfectly with english cucumber. Yes please.

Yield: about 2 cups

About 1 1/2 cups pitted kalamatta olives, no juice
1/2 cup blanched shaved almonds
1/2 packed cup fresh basil leaves
1 medium garlic clove, smashed or roughly chopped
Fresh cracked pepper
Few basil leaves for garnish
1 or 2 English cucumbers, sliced
Crackers (opt.)

In a food processor, combine olives and almonds and pulse to chop/combine.

Once you have a chunky paste, add the garlic, basil leaves and pepper. Pulse until everything is chopped up and you have a fairly fine paste.

Note: you don't want to liquify it, just make sure it is all chopped up and fairly smooth.

That's it! Yeah. It's really easy.

Put dip into a bowl and garnish with some additional fresh basil leaves. Serve with sliced english cucumber and/or some lovely crackers.

This is super simple but packs a really surprising flavor. Serve it as a simple appetizer before dinner or spread it on a sandwich and surprise the eater with the delicious-ness.


Kalamata Olive on FoodistaKalamata Olive


  1. Oh my god oh my god oh my god, I LOOOVE tapenade! I want to lick my computer screen right now! But I won't, I won't ;]

    By the way, I think that first one totally counts as a catering job! So after the wedding, that makes you a seasoned catering pro, right? :P

  2. This looks like ti has so much flavor, yummy

  3. This looks great and seems not too hard to prepare.

  4. I would hire you in a heartbeat. You could cater some really good healthy food for sure.

    I can see why the tapenade would create such a stir. First off, the color is amazing. The flavor profile is great with the kalamata olives, garlic, and basil.

    I love blanched and shaved almonds. Really love them...maybe on the verge of abuse.

  5. Amber... ha ha! It was good and yes, go ahead and lick your screen, I won't judge :)

    Jennifurla... thank you! It was pretty darn delish!

    Spoon and Chopsticks... thank you! Definitely super easy to prepare; great if you're in a pinch for something pretty and flavorful!

    Lazaro... Ok! perhaps we can collaborate :) For being a last minute addition, it was gorgeous and tasted just as gorgeous. Also, I'm so with you on shaved almonds. Often I wonder if I need an intervention :), glad I'm not the only one! :)

  6. I'm sure your food was the hit of the party....non foodies just have no clue how much it means to us!
    Your kalamata tapenade looks delicious, I would love to give it a try!

  7. Chef Dennis... they did love it... after a little aprehension. It was Ferndale, after all... more of a beer and jerky type place :) Thank you so much... you should definitely try it. Thanks also for stopping by... I love seeing your comments here!

  8. Well- congrats are in order for you! I would get just as giddy. :)
    Like your recipe for tampenade too. But- have you ever tried walnuts instead of almonds? Cashews are good too since they add a little sweet flavor.



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