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My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Storiesby David Lebovitz
Synopses & Reviews
Black Olive Tapenade
Serves 6 to 8
This was the first tapenade I ever made, and it is still my go-to recipe. The best olives to use are the slightly wrinkled black olives from Nyons; or, if you have the patience for pitting teensy Niçoise olives, they’re marvelously oily and are the base for a wonderful bowl of tapenade. Other olives work well, too, but if they’re very salty, rinse them in cold water and pat them dry before using them.
One way to pit olives is to squish them under your thumb or use the side of a broad knife blade, with the blade held parallel to the table (i.e., not facing up), and rap it down briskly to release the pit from the olive meat. Be sure to wear a dark shirt or kitchen apron since the pits like to celebrate their liberté in a very “far-reaching” way.
Tapenade can be spread on Herbed goat cheese toasts. Pastis is the classic accompaniment, although I never developed a taste for the anise-scented
elixir that mysteriously turns cloudy when water is added to dilute its high-test taste and strength. I opt for chilled rosé.
1-1/2 cups (210g) black olives, pitted
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and squeezed dry
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
2 anchovy fillets
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
Sea salt or kosher salt (optional)
1. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the olives, garlic, capers, thyme, anchovies, lemon juice, and mustard a few times to start breaking them down.
2. Add the olive oil and run the food processor until the mixture forms a slightly chunky paste. The tapenade shouldn’t need any salt, but taste and add a sprinkle if necessary. The tapenade will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
"In his latest work, Lebovitz, a professional cook, baker (he spent 13 years as pastry chef at the famed Chez Panisse), author (he's written both cookbooks and a memoir), and food blogger brings readers a delightful slice of France. Lebovitz showcases how Parisians cook and eat today — 'there is a brigade of younger chefs in Paris quietly rebranding French cuisine and, paradoxically, updating it by taking it back to its humbler roots — to le cuisine du MarchÃ© (market cuisine). To start, there's a lovely mix of traditional French dishes, such as eggplant caviar, onion tart, as well as spiced meatballs with Sriracha sauce, and Egyptian spiced nut mix. This kind of diversity continues throughout the following chapters. Appetizers include tabbouleh; duck terrine with figs; and a grated carrot salad. For 'Plats,' or main dishes, the author gives us Chicken with Mustard; counterfeit duck confit (less fuss and no mess); caramel pork ribs; and a cassoulet. Desserts — a warm chocolate cake with salted butter caramel sauce, and a bay leaf pound cake with orange glaze — will tempt even the most reluctant baker. A lovely volume, with the perfect combination of unexpected and expected dishes, French food personalized and demystified for the home cook in the best way." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
DAVID LEBOVITZ has been a professional cook and baker for most of his life; he spent nearly thirteen years at Chez Panisse until he left the restaurant business in 1999 to write books. He moved to Paris in 2004 and turned davidlebovitz.com into a phenomenally popular blog. He is the author of six books, including The Perfect Scoop, Ready for Dessert, The Great Book of Chocolate, and a memoir called The Sweet Life in Paris, and he was named one of the Top Five Pastry Chefs in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Chronicle. David has also been featured in Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Cook’s Illustrated, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Saveur, Travel + Leisure, and more.
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