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
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.