I have recently developed some what of an obsession to olives. I love them and can't get enough of them, so when I saw a giant jar of pitted Kalamata olives in a local shop I couldn't resist buying them. Having a jar of olives in your fridge is a great thing as you can put them on so many things....I love throwing a small handful onto pasta for a little variation (see my Sausage, Olive & Tomato Pasta), or of course on top of a crispy and slightly charred pizza that I have cooked on the barbecue. They are perfect in Salads and if you always have olives in your fridge then you can always make up a quick batch of my favourite Marinated Olives – ideal to serve with drinks for any unexpected guests, and perfect as part of an Antipasto lunch. And then when you really want a hit of salty, briny olive goodness there is Tapenade. Originating from France this beautiful glossy black spread made from olives, capers and anchovies is fabulous on crostini or crackers as a quick and simple lunch or snack. And it doesn't stop there! Once you make it you will find so many options for using it....on pizza instead of tomato sauce, tossed through hot pasta for a quick and easy meal, used to stuff chicken with for a delicious and perfect meal for entertaining or thinned down with a little extra olive oil for a fabulously tasty salad dressing. The options are endless so if you are an olive fan why not give this deliciously easy and fast recipe a go. And to think I didn't like olives up until a couple of years ago and now I can't get enough of them!
225g pitted black olives, rinsed – Kalamata are my favourite but use what you like
2-3 anchovy fillets or ½ tsp anchovy paste
1 small clove of garlic, smashed
2 tbsp capers, rinsed
2 tbsp fresh basil
Good squeeze of lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Simply pop the olives, anchovies (or paste), garlic, capers, basil and lemon juice in the small bowl of a food processor and blitz until chopped up (you will have to stop and scrape down the sides a few times with a spatula or spoon). Once it's chopped up quite finely add the olive oil and some freshly ground black pepper. Give it another blitz until it turns into more of a paste but still keeping some texture. Taste to check the balance and if needed add a spritz more lemon or oil.
Transfer to a bowl or alternatively pop it straight into a container to keep it in the fridge. If properly covered it will keep in the fridge for a good month or so.