Friday, July 15, 2011

Asparagus Tapenade... so what IS a Tapenade, anyway?

A good friend made this and let me try it - it was really fresh & unique.  So fun on toasted baguette rounds - I loved it. So, what is “tapenade” anyway?  To be official, it is a dip originating in the South of France (Provence), made with a base of olives, anchovies, tuna, and garlic.  This version of tapenade suits my (less refined) tastes so much better!

Finding a good appetizer for summer is a challenge.  With an abundance of fruits and vegetables in season, it’s hard to narrow them down to one that will be memorable in a recipe.  This appetizer really is unforgettable.  
The fresh asparagus gives it such a vivid color, then the mix of lemon & orange juice really brighten the flavor.  I would have never guessed maple syrup was an ingredient - but it makes a difference.  A touch of garlic, and just enough red pepper flakes give it just enough zip.  Sunflower kernels add crunch and interest.

This is a great combination of color, flavor, and texture.  
The toasted baguette rounds gave it a buttery crunch - wow.  

Above is a photo of a typical tapenade... 
Looks a little less appetizing than the bright green asparagus version don’t you think?  

With very little fat and fresh, unprocessed ingredients - 
it also scores high as a healthy snack.

For the recipe, go to:  


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