Bella Arte's Olive & Basil Tapenade

"Mom would make tapenade occasionally back in the days when she had to patiently diced everything by hand. Lucky me, I have a food processor!Although there are many tapenade recipes on the site, I decided to go ahead and post this since the 20 or so I read all had either capers, anchovies or lemon juice which this one doesn't. It's also yet another great way to use up the basil from your garden. My husband and I were served this fabulous spread at a wonderful little Italian restaurant in Hot Springs, Arkansas called "Bella Arte" where we ate twice in 4 days during a trip there November 2001. We asked the waiter for the recipe which is something we've never done before or since. He wrote down the ingredients (the little piece of paper is still taped to the inside of one of my kitchen cabinet doors), but didn't know the amounts which he said was up to the preparer. He also made it a point to say don't underestimate the importance of the roasted red peppers and using only fresh herbs. The amounts I've listed are all approximate-you can easily adjust to your liking(and I know you will!) taste and texture-wise. Mine never comes out quite the same twice, but we always love it and I serve it often when I have a group at the house. Note-unless you like food really salty don't add any to this recipe. There is plenty in the canned olives and the parmesan cheese. Process/pulse all the ingredients then add the olives(or at least 1 can) last if you want them to be chunkier and more rustic. Otherwise, the food processor will turn this into a fairly smooth paste pronto. Serve with salt-free bagel-type chips."
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Ready In:
3-4 cups(approx)




  • Add garlic cloves to food processor; pulse several times to chop.
  • Add 1/3 cup parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup bread crumbs along with all other ingredients EXCEPT olive oil.
  • Pulse to blend well while drizzling 1/3 cup olive oil into the mixture.
  • Taste; add more parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and oil to your liking.
  • Let sit at least 30 minutes for flavors to meld. Refrigerate leftovers.
  • Serve with salt-free bagel-type chips.

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<p>&gt;&gt; <br /><br />As I was growing up Mom always read the recipes in the newspaper food section and the magazines she received. Often, she read them aloud to me line by line which drove me batty. She had a huge collection of recipes on 3x5 cards kept in two large office-type files big as shoe boxes. Many of the recipes were written in her own beautiful, unique hand. Sadly, the boxes have been missing since my husband and I last moved. I still have hope they will show up in some box that went into the attic. <br /><br />Anyway, now that I'm grown and Mom's gone, besides wishing she was here to drive me batty reading recipes aloud, guess what? I have my own collection of thousands of recipes from newspapers, magazines and the internet most of which I'll probably never try...kinda goofy, I know, but hey, it's a harmless hobby, right? Not to mention it's a way for me to remember my sweet mom. One of these days I might even get them all organized to some degree! I also have a collection of cookbooks which I read cover-to-cover like novels. I'm a sucker for the spiral-bound type especially and I love collections from churches, small communities, junior leagues and the like. <br /><br />If you're wondering about my screen name nanpie, no I'm not a big pie maker. Nan is what my brothers, most of my other relatives and close friends call me. Pie is what my parents called me from the time I was started out Punkin' Pie as a love name(Mom's gran called her Puddin' Pie) then evolved into Pie, Pie Pie, Nanny Pie and Pineapple all the time...except when I was in trouble. A modified mathematical pi sign has been my personal logo for many years. Even though I was in my late 30's, once my folks were gone I really missed having someone call me Pie(I should have had my nieces and nephew call me Aunt Pie, not Aunt Nan), so my sweet husband continues the tradition and I love him all the more for it.</p>
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