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Versatile Artichoke and Bell Pepper Tapenade

After weeks of sweltering heat, we’re finally enjoying some slightly cooler weather today. Cool enough to make me actually want to sit outside and enjoy some fresh air. I was thinking it might be nice to enjoy something delicious with a glass of white wine later this afternoon and the gorgeous red bell peppers I got at the farmer’s market this morning helped seal the deal.

I’m going to make the Artichoke and Bell Pepper Tapenade from Quick-Fix Vegan (the photo above was taken by recipe tester Elaine Trautwein). Instead of roasting the pepper in the oven, I plan to grill it for extra flavor. You can instead use a jarred roasted bell pepper if you’re pressed for time. The bell pepper combines with marinated artichoke hearts, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and of course, capers for a bold and flavorful topping for toasted bread. It also makes a great pasta sauce, though you may want to double the recipe if using it for pasta, depending on how saucy you like it.

Here’s the recipe — if you don’t want to make bruschetta or tapenade, you can enjoy it with crackers or chips. It’s also good over grilled vegetables.

Artichoke and Bell Pepper Tapenade
Bold Mediterranean flavors combine in one zesty tapenade. Serve it as a topping for crostini or bruschetta. It also makes a fabulous sauce for pasta. Adapted from Quick-Fix Vegan.

1 large roasted (or grilled) red bell pepper or 1 (6-ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers, well drained and blotted dry
1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, well drained and blotted dry
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons oil-packed or reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes, blotted dry
1 to 2 tablespoons capers, drained
Black pepper

In a food processor, combine the bell pepper, artichoke hearts, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and black pepper to taste. Pulse until well combined and finely chopped, but not pureed. Transfer to a bowl. The tapenade is now ready to use.

For bruschetta: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Use a serrated knife to cut a baguette or Italian bread loaf into 1/2-inch slices and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until toasted on both sides, turning once, about 10 minutes total. To serve, spread the tapenade onto the toasted bread and serve immediately.

For pasta: Cook 8 ounces of your favorite pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until just tender. Drain well and return to the pot. Add the tapenade and toss to combine.

{ 12 comments… add one }

  • MyRedSandals July 21, 2012, 9:50 pm

    This tapenade sounds so amazingly delicious that my mouth is watering – and I just finished dinner! I love every single ingredient mentioned in this recipe and I often use them in some combination to make sandwich spreads, dips, pasta sauces, etc. Yummy stuff, thanks for sharing!

    • Robin July 22, 2012, 11:00 am

      These are some of my favorite ingredients too! If you start with good ingredients you love, the result is almost always certain to turn out great.

      • MyRedSandals July 22, 2012, 3:03 pm

        When I’m in a total pinch and have no red peppers on hand, I will cheat and use the Eggplant & Roasted Red Pepper spread from Trader Joe’s. It is delicious.

  • bookwormbethie July 21, 2012, 10:16 pm

    often I buy sundried tomatoes that need to be rehydrated in warm water rather than being packed in oil. Is it okay to use that kind or am I missing some big flavor by using the kind packed in oil?

    I definitely will try this recipe soon, I’ll have to check to see if it’s one I already dog-earred in my QFV cookbook ;)

    • Robin July 22, 2012, 11:01 am

      It’s perfectly fine to use rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes instead of the ones packed in oil. Both taste good and add their special flavor to the recipe.

  • bookwormbethie July 21, 2012, 10:18 pm

    P.S. Would left over “sauce” freeze well??

    • Robin July 22, 2012, 11:03 am

      I’ve never had this stick around long enough to freeze and it will keep well in the fridge for several days. I don’t see anything in it that won’t freeze well, so I’m going to assume that yes, it should freeze well.

  • bookwormbethie July 22, 2012, 8:53 pm

    it came out yummy of course! i warmed it up slightly on the stovetop with some leftover elbow macaroni as i have a tendency to make too much noodles ;)

    • Robin July 24, 2012, 9:56 am

      Sounds like a great combination!

  • Bridget July 24, 2012, 9:28 am

    Yum! I love those ingredients. I almost always have most of them on hand. What a great quick pasta dish. I’d want leftovers for dipping the next day:)

    • Robin July 24, 2012, 9:56 am

      Some of my favorite ingredients, too, Bridget. Hope you enjoy!

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