Crispy Polenta Bites with Arugula Tapenade
Instead of using polenta as a side dish, turn it into crouton-like hors d'oeuvres like these, which get piled with a crunchy arugula-and-radish tapenade.
Linguine with Seared Tuna and Green-Olive Tapenade
Small pitted green olives--the bottled martini type--are transformed into a savory sauce in next to no time. We like the tuna rare, but if you prefer it well done, cook it a few minutes longer.
Broccoli with Garlicky Tapenade
A briny, pungent sauce like this olive tapenade is a perfect accompaniment to steamed broccoli.
Classic Hummus with Castelvetrano Olive Tapenade
Bright-green Castelvetrano olives add a sharp, sweet, and briny finish to this classic hummus.
Roasted Red Pepper Sandwiches with Tapenade and Basil
Over the past decade, young chefs throughout France, like Christophe Eme, have been inspired by the cooking of Provence. Although you won't see Eme's vegetable sandwich, made with baguette toasted on the grill, at cafes in Aix-en-Provence or Nice, the ingredients--olives, herbs, garlic and anchovies--are unmistakably southern. For a more substantial sandwich, add tuna or chicken.
Antipasto Salad with Bocconcini and Green-Olive Tapenade
As the co-founder of La Brea Bakery and Campanile restaurant in Los Angeles, Nancy Silverton made her name as a brilliant baker. She has since shown her mastery of Italian food at Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza, getting the biggest flavor from the simplest ingredients. She does just that with this salad, which combines crisp iceberg lettuce, milky mozzarella, spicy-tangy peperoncini and salty olives and salami.
Black Olive Tapenade with Figs and Mint
What makes this tapenade special is the clever mix of oil- and brine-cured olives and the surprise of sweet, fresh and tangy notes from the dried figs, mint and capers.
Grilled Ham-and-Cheese Sandwiches with Tapenade
To make a gooey grilled cheese sandwich, you need a good melting cheese like Mahon; be sure to choose a young semi-soft variety rather than a hard aged one. Meaty lomo, a newly imported ham made from dry-cured pork loin accented with garlic and paprika, is definitely worth seeking out, though Serrano ham is a very acceptable substitute.