Wednesday, July 18, 2012

recipe: citrus olive tapenade and chipotle hummus

Back in March, I made the trek down to the Niagara Region to have dinner out with my good friend Katie.  Both Katie and I studied Hotel & Food Administration at the University of Guelph and just like me, Katie’s a “foodie” who’s always up for a great meal.

Katie took me to a restaurant in Fonthill called “20 20 Bar & Grill”.  It offers a little bit of everything so it was definitely tough deciding what to order – everything sounded so good.  We settled on calamari (my fav.) and the mezze dipping platter, which Katie adores.  If you’ve never heard of a mezze platter, it can be described as a small selection of dishes served in the Mediterranean and Middle East for lunch or dinner – very similar to an Italian antipasti platter.

This mezze platter did not disappoint – and truthfully, we could have shared this alone and been completely satisfied (even considering we were both pregnant at the time!)  The platter consisted of the following: homemade tzatziki, hummus, olive tapenade, grilled pita wedges, crostini, goat cheese, parmesan, cured meats, sun-dried tomatoes, spiced olives, marinated vegetables and roasted garlic.  It was delicious and a lot of fun to eat.

Although the platter consists of quite a few items, it’s really easy to put together and is a perfect summertime appetizer or substantial snack to serve to guests.  I’ve prepared a mezze platter for get-togethers in the past – I love that I can prepare it in advance and that it doesn’t require any heating.  I prefer to make my own dips (see recipes below), but you can certainly buy them from your favourite store to save yourself some time (and dishes to wash).

Citrus Olive Tapenade


·         1 (one) cup good-quality whole black olives, pitted
·         1 (one) tablespoon capers
·         2 (two) cloves garlic, minced
·         2-3 (two to three) tablespoons good-quality, fruity olive oil
·         1 (one) teaspoon orange zest
·         freshly ground pepper to taste

1.       Put the garlic into the bowl of a food processor and blitz for a few seconds until finely chopped.
2.       Add all other ingredients and blitz using on and off turns (note:  a slightly chunky texture is ideal).

Chipotle Hummus


·         2 (two) garlic cloves, peeled
·         1 (one) 16 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
·         ¼ (one-quarter) cup fresh lemon juice
·         1 (one) teaspoon ground cumin
·         1 (one) tablespoon tahini (sesame seed paste)
·         ¼ (one-quarter) cup chipotle flavoured olive oil plus additional for drizzling
(note:  you can substitute regular extra-virgin olive oil if desired)

·         salt and pepper, to taste


·         Put the garlic into the bowl of a food processor and blitz for a few seconds until chopped.
·         Add all other ingredients except olive oil and blitz for about a minute.
·         With the machine running, slowly add olive oil in a steady stream, until smooth.
·         Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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