Courters' Kitchen: Olive tapenade is 'tres bon' for picnic fare

Courters' Kitchen: Olive tapenade is 'tres bon' for picnic fare

July 3rd, 2013 Barry and Kelley Courter in Life Entertainment

COURTERS' KITCHEN

This monthly cooking series features husband and wife team Barry and Kelley Courter.

For a summer picnic with a French flare, Kelley Courter made olive tapenade, which she served on a baguette. She also made pork liver pate using a recipe from Jacques Pepin and served both with cheese and fresh fruit.

Photo by Tim Barber/Times Free Press.

BARRY SAYS: I suppose picnic food can mean different things to different people. Growing up, it meant a trip to see the Colonel and big bucket of chicken. I know for a lot of people it means potato salad, baked beans and something charred on a grill.

What you lay out on your blanket or picnic table can also vary depending on the event. Tonight's Pops on the River concert featuring the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera at Coolidge Park is more a wine-and-cheese type of picnic. Thursday's Fourth of July celebration calls for something grilled and served on a bun.

KELLEY SAYS: Our picnic is better suited for the Pops show. I wanted to do a nice little French picnic with olive tapenade, bread, cheeses and wine. I was inspired to come up with my version of the tapenade after a friend gave me some olives from France. It is fairly easy to make, and I really like the flavor.

This a traditional item from the south of France that is made primarily of olives, capers and anchovies, though I didn't use capers this time around. I went with the pickles, and I like the way it turned out.

BARRY: There aren't many occasions where I like anchovies, but they definitely make the tapenade better. Don't let the tiny, salty fish scare you off from trying this. Il est tres bon -- for those not as "continental" as me, that's French for "It is very good."

KELLEY: It partners so well with the olives.

I also wanted to try my hand at making some pate. I just Googled Jacques Pepin's pork liver pate and followed his recipe.

To complete the picnic basket, we added fresh blueberries, blackberries and a baguette from the local markets, some good mustards and a variety of quality cheeses.

BARRY: It's a great meal. Now where is my chapeau?

Olive Tapenade

1 can Lindsay natural green ripe olives, drained

3/4 pint pitted nicoise olives

4-6 anchovies

3-4 large fresh garlic cloves

2-3 tablespoons fresh tarragon

1 teaspoon summer savory

1-2 tablespoons fresh chives

3 tablespoons chopped dill pickle

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons of whole-grain dijon mustard

Mix olives, anchovies, garlic in blender to fine blend, then stir in additional ingredients. Serve on garlic croutons.

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter @timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.