Aren’t families funny things?
One of my favorite things about meeting someone’s family is finding similarities between the person I know and their siblings or parents. I’m not talking creepysimilar (creepysimilar IS a thing) – just little things, like the way a person stands or laughs.
Loving olives is a family trait inherited from the women on my mom’s side. I know, I know lots of people love olives or whatever, but our love runs deep, people.
At family gatherings, there’s always a bowl teaming with green olives that’s set out before anything else. By the time the main meal rolls around, the dish will have exactly one sad-looking olive left, swimming in the salty juice. I’m talking an entire XL-sized jar gone. Weirdly, none were eaten by the menfolk, but by all the ladies – from my grandma on down to the youngest granddaughter – each one is a salty olive fanatic.
Real talk: this little sandwich combo was an elaborate excuse to make olive tapenade. The easiest black olive tapenade. Like if you have some pesto and a jar of olives, you’re in business kind of easy.
I chose black olives for their milder flavor – they mix with the pesto nicely, neither over-powering the other. I suspect a mix of kalamata and black olives with the pesto would be pretty excellent too.
You can eat it with crackers, crudites or on pasta, too.
AND! you can make it vegan friendly if you make your own pesto – simply omit the Parmesan cheese or sub in nutritional yeast.
Easy Black Olive Tapenade
– 1/2 cup pitted black olives
– 2 tablespoons pesto (homemade or your favorite store-bought brand)
Place your ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blitz until it forms a slightly chunky, spreadable paste. Store in an air tight container in the fridge for a week. Freeze for 3 months.
– baby portabella mushrooms, whole (you can use larger mushroom caps too, the baking time is just slightly longer)
– olive oil
– salt and pepper
Heat oven to 400 F/ 205 C.
Toss mushrooms with a drizzle of olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper.
Bake for 10 minutes. Flip the mushrooms and bake for another 3-5 minutes until cooked through and soft.
Make a sandwich: Spread olive tapenade on toasted or grilled bread, top with mushrooms and oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. A little feta or goats cheese wouldn’t be a bad idea either – if you’re not keeping it vegan.