This monthly cooking series features husband and wife team Barry and Kelley Courter.
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?
1 can Lindsay natural green ripe olives, drained
3/4 pint pitted nicoise olives
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.