Monday, November 29, 2010

Dee's Tapanade by Canal Saint-Martin

It seemed like dumb luck, serendipitous dumb luck. My friends, Dee, Mary Jo and I were having dinner at Astier in Paris, and decided to spend the afternoon in the area. Getting off at the Republique metro stop, we walked around and then decided to stop along the Canal Saint-Martin for a few minutes. All seemed quiet on this late fall afternoon, as people walked across the footbridge and on the cobblestone walkway. It was peaceful, until we heard a huge rush of water. Looking up, I realized the canal locks were operating to allow the passage of a few barges. The canal was ordered to be built by Napoleon I in 1802, to supply fresh water to Paris and the construction was funded by a new tax on wine. We watched the locks fill up with the barges patiently waiting to continue their voyage down the canal. As the sun filtered through the trees, Dee pulled out a container of homemade tapanade from her bag. I had a ficelle au fromage in my bag and Mary Jo had something to drink and glasses. Parfait...a picnic was made! If I'm ever stuck on a deserted island, I want to be there with a flight attendant. They always have food and water in their bags, just waiting for the right moment to appear. I suppose it comes from years of travel and always having to be prepared for the unexpected or the opportune. I don't think we could have planned it any better if we had tried.

Dee's Tapanade

1/2 pound mixed black olives, pitted (Kalamata olives work well)
2 anchovy fillets
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1-2 tablespoon capers
1 small handful basil leaves, rinsed
1 small handful fresh parsley, rinsed
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process to combine, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl, until the mixture becomes a coarse paste. Transfer to a bowl and serve at room temperature.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

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a quiet life said...

looks delish, i love have paris seams more like your home then the states :)

Deana Sidney said...

What a magical moment... sure beats the romance of the Jersey bridge rising for boats. Seriously, that is remarkable that you had all those wonderful things at the ready for a picnic... I need to hang with flight attendants!

Kathy Walker said...

An instant picnic! What could be more fun. Sounds like a lovely afternoon. The Tapanade looks delicious.

La Table De Nana said...

Oh you're really so lucky! I know it's hard work what you do and you deserve this!!
I am joyful knowing you know you are lucky..because you appreciate it all!

And then you kindly share w/ us:)

Mary Chris said...

I first had tapenade at my friend's house in Lyon. I was just there again, and we ate it often. It reminds me so much of France, and this recipe looks delicious.

linda said...

the photographs are exquisite & certainly set the mood!
very interesting facts about the canal.
okay…who supplied that very parisian red check cloth…:)

Karen @ Mignardise said...

I like that you always keep a camera in your pocket too. Your photos, of even the simplest things, are just beautiful!

2 Stews said...

Jain...My job allows for the duality of spending half of my time in another place. Sometimes that is a good thing and sometimes not! I try and make the best of it, and Paris makes that easy.

Deana...Yes, it is fun when it all comes together. I'd love to have you come and hang with us...the Jersey Bridge would be great. We could have bagels and coffee!!

Kate...the tapanade really is good. I think the addition of the basil really changes it.

Monique...Most often we make our own luck, but sometimes it gets kicked up a notch!! Those are the best times :-)

Mary Chris...Tapanade at a friends house in Lyon sounds dreamy. Lucky you. I love how tastes can transport us to certain places.

Linda...The canal can be magical. I took my first barge ride down it many years ago. When we went under the Bastille, a trumpet player on the boat played a solo jazz piece that reverberated from the stone walls. It was memorable.

The photos of the tapanade were taken at home after I made the recipe. I had some pics from that day and they weren't the best. I made the red print napkins from a fabric remnant that I cut into equal squares and the frayed the edges for a change from a finished edge.

Karen...I always carry my DSLR in my backpack. Heavy, but worth it!

Thanks to all for visiting and for the wonderful comments. Have a great week!


Kate at Serendipity said...

Oh, Diane, this looks amazing. I love tapenade! I've never had it with basil in it though. I bet the basil and the lemon really make it sing.

I love your stories, and the fact that the words and the photos tell the same story! Thanks for posting this.

Medifast Coupons said...

You took some good pictures of the locks and barges, and thanks for the Napoleon history lesson.

Pam said...

Great story! Nothing beats being prepared. Interesting when the boats go through the locks. I love Paris and your photos are very good.

Chocolate Freckles said...

Great recipe!!! this tapenade looks so delicious!! .. With a little wine .. who would resist!