Yield: Approximately 1-1/2 cups of tapenade
- 1/2 head of elephant garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped (approximately 1/2 cup of chopped garlic)
- 1 whole dried Sicilian red pepper, torn into flake-sized pieces
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup red wine vinegar (start with 1/4 cup and add more as needed to achieve the proper texture)
- 1/4 cup water (artesian spring water), or as needed
- 2 tablespoons Sicilian olive oil (or any excellent quality extra virgin olive oil)
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- Sicilian Seasoning from Merchant Spice Co.’s European Collection
- Sea salt, to taste (NOTE: Sicilian sea salt is an excellent choice for this preparation.)
Place all ingredients in a food processor (starting with 1/4 cup of vinegar and adding more, as needed) and pulse until a fine, but still slightly textured, puree is achieved.
Your garlic tapenade is now ready for many, many glorious preparations and can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.
We prepared tapas using our garlic tapenade, along with other assorted tapas dishes. Here are some ideas.
- Drizzle slices of European-style crusty artisan bread with olive oil and place briefly under the heat of a broiler. Remove from the oven and spread generously with garlic tapenade and once again place under the broiler until toasted and fragrant. Sprinkle with smoked Spanish paprika to serve.
- Also on slices of bread prepared as mentioned above, spread the bread with creamy feta cheese and chopped Moroccan oil-cured black olives and place briefly under the broiler. On a cast-iron skillet, over high heat, quickly pan fry slices of tomato that have been lightly salted with sea salt. Remove the cheese-topped bread from the oven and top with tomato.
- Pan-seared whole artichokes with their stems are another fantastic tapas to accompany this meal. Simply slice the whole artichokes in half lengthwise and sear on a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Drizzle a bit of sunflower oil over the artichokes while searing, along with a pinch or two of sea salt (Merchant Spice Co.’s Lemon Seasoned Sea Salt works well) and a few squeezes of fresh lemon. Sear on both sides.