I picked up the wrong olives and ended up with those nasty, rubbery, flavourless ones instead of softly wrinkled, salty ones.
Somewhat loathe to throw away a whole jar of olives, even exceedingly bad ones, I came up with this dip-which-is-nearly-but-not-quite-a-tapenade (no anchovies). Having done so, I’m now dying to try it using some good olives; something that tastes this good with a bad base ingredient is going to taste utterly sublime with an excellent one!
Approx. 120g black olives (if these are of poor quality you’ll also need a handful of sea salt)
1 tablespoon capers
1-2 garlic cloves
A couple of sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
½ lemon, juice only
A splosh of olive oil
If you’ve got the horrid type of olives like I had (see top picture) there’s first going to have to be some salting action. If you have decent olives, skip this step.
Tip the olives into a nylon (not metal!) sieve, drain off the liquid and set over a bowl. Sprinkle generously with sea salt, cover with a plate and weight down with whatever heavy thing you have that will work – children and pets not advised. Set to one side for a minimum of 2 hours, longer if possible.
Before using, give the olives a quick rinse to wash off any excess salt – there’s plenty more of that going to be coming from the capers 🙂
Place olives and all other ingredients into a food processor or mortar & pestle; use only a little olive oil to start with and add more as required to achieve desired consistency.
Pulse or pound until smoothish.
Tip into a bowl and serve with warm pitta bread.