I’m not sure why, but I’ve been thinking a lot about my trip to New York last year. Maybe it’s because it was this very date, last year, when we were there, or maybe it’s because I’ve been flipping through the pages of of the Ann St Studio blog lately and she has the most gorgeous pictures of that fabulous city. Or maybe, and mostly likely, it’s because I have felt like I haven’t left Vancouver in too long. I’m feeling wistful and dreaming about hoping on a plane to go somewhere, anywhere maybe. Thinking about it, I’ve realized that I’m often somewhere else in the fall. It might be my favourite time to travel.
Not that I’m complaining or wining, I’m going to be in Seattle not once, but twice next week for workshops, and I think that will push this feeling out of my system.
But in the interim, I’m going to sit here and think about New York.
I’m going to imagine my next trip and plan it in my head and pretend I’m going to visit my sister and that we’ll go to galleries, and drink cocktails, and just hang out and catch up. In this dream she isn’t working full time and doing her MBA but would have time to show me her favourite spots and introduce me to her friends and let me see the life she’s building there. A life I would love to see.
And I’m imagining going back to this wonderful little restaurant called Left Bank where I ate the most amazing chicken of my life last year.
The chicken itself was nothing crazy, just roasted simply with some lemon and thyme, but the sauce was revelation.
And also, possibly the most basic sauce I’ve ever had on a meal at a restaurant.
It was simply the most gorgeous bright green olives that were torn into small pieces and mixed with lemon and orange zest and bound in a very loose way with olive oil.
But these olives. They were the best olives, and the orange was just this hint in the back that brightened the whole thing.
There was absolutely nothing fussy about any of it, but it was perfect.
So I was thinking about this the other day when I was panning on having some friends over, and I made this sauce, only I made a great pile of it and we slathered it on baguettes and ate it with our wine.
I’ve never had a tapanade with green olives but that’s basically what this was.
With the left overs, I have dolloped it on top of poached eggs, put spread it on toast and made a chicken sandwich, served it along side pork.
It’s just the most lovely sauce, that is both deeply savoury and a little bit fruity.
And it’s wonderful.
Green Olive and Orange Tapenade
500mL Green Olives*
1 large Orange
3/4 cup Olive Oil
*do not bother making this with the canned green olives you get at the store, you will be disappointed. Instead go to an Italian grocer and try a couple different kinds. I like the dark green nocarella olives the best.
Pit the olives- if you have an olive pitter this will be fast work. If you don’t use the palm of your hand to press the olive down and squish it. Then from the squished olive pull out the pit. If you have bought pitted olives (and I would recommend you don’t, they are often of a worse quality) still go through them and make sure there isn’t a pit to be found. There is nothing worse than turning on your food processor and realizing that there was a pit that you missed and it is now splintered throughout your sauce.)
Put them in a food processor and zest the orange and half of the lemon in. Now cut the orange and squeeze in the juice of half.
Add in half of the olive oil and pulse. You don’t want it to grind into a paste. You want a loose consistency.
Taste. Does it need a bit more orange or lemon? Add it if you think it does.
Now stir in the rest of the olive oil, put it in a bowl and serve!