Eat: Olive Tapanade Crostini
When I was little, one of my very favorite things that my mom would make for me was cream cheese and olive, which was little more than green olives from the jar chopped up and mixed into plain cream cheese. Spread on a couple of slices of white bread, or on top of crackers, it was the best treat. It was a family thing- my aunt made it for my cousins, too- so I never thought it was an odd combination until I had friends who turned up their nose at it. I'd think to myself, "It's so good!" and wonder why they didn't agree. This version I've come up with takes all the elements of my childhood favorite and makes it a little bit more grown up. It's a great snack, but would make an excellent appetizer for entertaining.
To make the tapanade, I hit up the olive bar at the grocery store, choosing Kalamata olives, large green olives stuffed with sun-dried tomato, and roasted garlic cloves. About a half cup of each type of olive plus enough garlic to equal one head pulsed in the food processor for a few minutes makes a nice rough-chopped spread.
To assemble, cut a French baguette into half-inch thick slices and toast lightly in a 325 degree oven until the edges are lightly browned. Spread each slice with herbed goat cheese and and a spoonful of tapanade. Easy and delicious.