Cook the Book Fridays – Artichoke Tapenade with Rosemary Oil

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There’s a wonderful Lebanese restaurant called Jamjar on the other side of our neighbourhood. We joke that it’s a good thing it’s far enough away that we can’t run down there on the spur of the moment. If it were closer, we’d eat at home less often than is good for us.

My last meal there wasn’t in the restaurant at all, but at a working meeting. The chairperson picked up an array of their dips, salads, small plates, and sauces for us to munch on as we sifted through our list of tasks. There’s nothing bland about any of their food – there’s almost a cacophony of flavours, which manage to complement rather than compete. Eating through a spread of their dishes excites the palate with each bite. It certainly kept us all lively and cheerful through what could have been a tedious evening.

The artichoke tapenade I enjoyed this evening wouldn’t have been out of place on that table. It’s French, rather than Lebanese, but its flavours have a Mediterranean bent. Artichokes, olives, and capers provide earthy notes, lemon and cayenne brighter ones, while homemade rosemary oil finishes the dip.

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Now that the weather is getting warmer, dips like this one are perfect for my favourite way to eat through the summer – from a table full of small bowls and plates filled with different textures and flavours, all working together to create a satisfying and harmonious meal.

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15 thoughts on “Cook the Book Fridays – Artichoke Tapenade with Rosemary Oil

  1. Glad you all loved it so much and I love your photo of the spread! We liked it, too, and I enjoy how quick it is to make so I’ll make it tomorrow when we have some friends over for brunch. I really wish making an appetizer spread wasn’t so time-intensive as I love to eat that way, too. After a trip to Turkey and enjoying all those mezze platters, I was so excited to recreate it as a meal for friends and I worked constantly for 2 days for that meal. Sigh. It was good, but I was too exhausted to enjoy it. Anyway, thank goodness for recipes like this!

  2. I agree! Wasn’t this a fun dish? And I plan on making sure I have the ingredients on hand as I usually do -a wonderful little dish to share with friends that is so easy to put together!

  3. Wonderful post and lovely pictures of the food! The oil is great for pan frying fish steaks too, which was what I did for tonight’s dinner!

  4. I love meals made of lots of little tastes like that. I call it an indoor picnic and Howard calls it grazing. Delicious no matter what!

  5. This was so delicious. And your nearby Lebanese place sounds amazing. We do so love middle eastern food. I recall ours serving something similar way back when, and I enjoyed it then, too. Lovely job!

  6. I’m with you, I so love those mezze platters and could happily live off such food through the summer. We have a fantastic Moroccan restaurant by us and I rarely make it past the mixed appetizer platter.

  7. I like your adorable little bowls and like you, I can’t wait to enjoy this tapenade on our deck in the sun. If we can’t vacation to the Mediterranean, this is the next best thing!

  8. I love Lebanese/Mediterranean food. This one was really delish (and goes well with hummus too)! Yours looks fabulous!

  9. You live in such a wonderful city and area, Teresa. So much to see, do, and eat! And, I am glad that you and Kevin seem to take advantage of it all. I have enjoyed your many posts the last few weeks including this one. I will be making the tapenade and rosemary oil this week and cannot wait.

  10. After a few days in New Orleans, we needed a palate cleanser from the heavier dishes and had dinner at an Israeli restaurant. Vegetables! Legumes! The fluffiest flatbread! This tapenade would have also been an easy fit in that meal. Thanks for the reminder for a future summer dinner.

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