TSP Original: Sun-dried Tomato Tapenade

MUSIC PAIRING: Live, Birds of Pray

New York City can be infuriating. I set out today to bring you a stuffed portobello with taleggio recipe which sounded delicious to me. However, when I got all the way to the store, I realized I’d forgotten my grocery list. That didn’t even matter though because once inside the store, they were out of the ingredients I was actually able to remember.

This city makes me want to scream sometimes. I often have to go to three different stores to get all the things I need and on the wrong day after the wrong armpit in my face on the subway, I can get real irritated, real fast. One ingredient I did happen to remember was sun-dried tomatoes. After roaming aimlessly around the store and realizing I owe you an original recipe for this month, I decided to buy them and stare at them until I felt inspired.

I love sun-dried tomatoes in all their tangy, meaty glory. After tossing around a few ideas and starting to actually make one of them, I realized that the consistency I was ending up with was similar to a tapenade. For those unfamiliar, tapenade by origin is a French condiment blend made from olives, capers and anchovies. It’s powerful in flavor and definitely an acquired taste if you’re not used to that combo of ingredients. I think it’s delicious.


Because of my combined irritation and lack of ingredients bought at the store, I had to evaluate what I had here in the house and see if I could pass my own recipe challenge test. Allow me to humbly gloat for a tiny second and say dang, I’m good. In all seriousness, nothing feels better for a trained chef than when you’re able to create something on the fly with no pre-conceived idea or prep. I suppose those dollars I spent on school really were worth it.


People ask me all the time “why vegetables?” about my tattoo. When you see how gorgeous something like basil is, it answers that question without me having to say a word.


This tapenade is perfect to use as a sandwich spread. Personally, I’d slather it on some nice ciabatta bread, pile on a bunch of simply grilled vegetables and top it with a nice dollop of ricotta.


Why Live? When I was walking back from the store, Live came on my Spotify and I forgot how much I used to love them back in the day. Since I was sweating and annoyed, it kinda helped to sing along out loud (yes, I might have been doing that on the street) so I blasted them while putting this together.

Sun-dried Tomato Tapenade
Makes just over 2/3 cup of tapenade.
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  1. 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  2. 1/2 cup water
  3. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  4. 1 teaspoon sweet white onion, roughly chopped
  5. 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  6. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  7. 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  8. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  9. Few grinds fresh black pepper
  10. Dash or two of crushed red pepper flakes
  11. 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  12. 6 basil leaves (mine were extra large so you might need more if your leaves are small)
  1. Combine sun-dried tomatoes, water and lemon juice in a mini food processor or blender. Pulse a few times until sun-dried tomatoes are rehydrated and slightly broken down.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth but still chunky. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Any extra cheese or basil or whatever else you want ain't hurt nobody.
  1. A lot of the water in this recipe will definitely drain back out as the tapenade sits. Make sure you allow it to rest for at least two hours if you're not using it right away on a sandwich where the bread will help soak up some of that deliciousness. Otherwise, you'll have a little mess on your hands.
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  1. Leave a Reply

    Margaret Sullivan
    July 17, 2015

    I’m making this Sunday!! Been thinking about it all week….wish me luck… 🙂

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