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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