Tag Archives: capers

Baked Olive Artichoke Dip

The original recipe for this lovely hot dip came from one of the blogs I regularly read. The only change I’ve made is to spell out how I made the green olive tapenade for those of you who may not have tapenade on hand.

You definitely need to like olives in order to enjoy this, but the olive flavor also won’t punch you in the face and knock you out cold. It’s so easy to assemble, so let’s get started.

Wow–I’m not feeling very verbose today, and it’s kinda freaking me out. I normally like to chatter at least a little before stampeding on with the recipe at hand. Hmmmm.

*Searching brain for something clever and hilarious to say*

*Searching brain for something at least mildly amusing to say*

*Searching brain for any old anything to say*

Nope, I’m coming up on empty. Well, as they say, another day another dollar. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Don’t take no wooden nickels. Lose the battle, win the war. So to speak.

Alright! I’m feeling better already.


(Serves 6)

1-14 oz can artichoke hearts (unmarinated), drained

1/2 packed fresh basil leaves, minced

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 cup chopped green anchovy-stuffed olives

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp capers, minced

5.2 oz Boursin (or any garlic and herb cheese)

Crackers, flatbread, or crusy bread to serve

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Give the drained artichoke hearts a rough choppity-chop.

Measure out the basil–firmly pack it in there.

Cram it . . . no, I’ve made that joke too many times already and, as they say, 3rd time’s a spanking.

Give it a nice mince.

Now if you have a green olive tapenade on hand, simply measure out 3/4 cup of that, and skip this next step. I didn’t have any tapenade around, so I assembled some anchovy-stuffed olives, capers, and garlic.

Mince the olives, capers, and garlic (or use your food processor) (then please send me your food processor).

Unwrap the beauty that is Boursin cheese.

By all means taste it. I know I did.

Mix all the ingredients together (except for the crackers, of course).

A sensible person would do this in a bowl, with a spoon.

I did it in a pie plate with my hands.

Hey! What the heck . . .

Note to self: next time, fully remove the foil packaging from the Boursin.

Press the dip into a pie plate, creating an even surface.

Lick your fingers avidly. Consider the possibility of eating it just like this, right now.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve with the crackers or bread.

Mmmm. I love a good hot dip.

It’s delightful, folks.

If you want a pop of fresh color, garnish it with a little extra sprinkling of basil.

And for my closing remarks . . . It takes one to know one. It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. A penny in time saves nine. And the most hideous expression of all time which despite my hatred of it doesn’t prevent me from writing it on a regular basis: don’t get your panties in a bunch.

With this dip on hand, no panties will be bunched by anyone at any time.

P.S. Thank you Lester Roadhog Moran for the page I just ripped out of your book.

P.P.S If you don’t know who Lester Roadhog Moran and the Cadillac Cowboys are, please ignore previous P.S and continue living as previously scheduled.

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Roasted Chicken with Olive Tapenade

Welcome to another cooking class recipe! My friend Cassia is the person responsible for this awesomeness. It’s a very simple recipe that just involves whizzing a couple ingredients in a food processor and slathering it over a chicken before roasting it for 35 minutes. Easy, delicious–you can’t go wrong. Unless you hate olives. Then, beware!

After testing this recipe the weekend before our cooking class, we decided that the tapenade was so delicious that we would double it for the class, serving a bowl of it alongside the chicken for olive-lovers. Hence, this recipe has enough tapenade for you to put every olive craving to rest for at least 12 hours guaranteed. Maybe 24 hours if you want to stretch it–but that’s the absolute limit, since exactly 24 hours from now I’ll be sharing yet another olive-alicious recipe. That uses another tapenade.

Why so many olives these days? Well, the answer is quite simple: to counteract the onslaught of cookies that has been turning this blog into a place of great danger recently. So let loose your olive war-cry and let’s begin:


(Serves 5)

 1 whole chicken (3-4 lbs), giblets removed

2-3 TBS olive oil

1 cup pitted kalamata olives

1 cup pitted green olives

1 cup pitted oil-cured olives

2 TBS dry parsley

2 TBS capers

2 TBS fresh thyme leaves

4 tsp anchovy paste

3 sprigs fresh thyme



Let’s start at the beginning (a veeery good plaaaace to staaaaart): preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Grab the ingredients for the tapenade:

Don’t fear the anchovy paste. It’s quite benevolent, even if it does look like . . . never mind.

Rip the leaves off a couple sprigs of thyme to get the 2 TBS of thyme leaves:

Put the olives, capers, parsley, anchovy paste, and 2 TBS thyme leaves in a food processor . . .

. . . and mince it finely.

Do you see now why I thought it looked like . . . and why I said to the ladies in the class . . . never mind.

I’m a big fan of not making the same mistake twice.

If the paste seems dry, add in a little olive oil.

FYI, you can do the work with a knife and a cutting board, but it takes a while (and since I don’t own a food processor, I may find myself in that position again).

Reserve about half of the tapenade–you’ll serve this on the table for those who want extra olive goodness piled high.

I seriously just snacked on this stuff–it’s so good. You could easily serve this to me with crackers and I’d be one happy lady. Take note, those who desire my happiness.

Now it’s time to grab your piece of meat.

Pick a chicken, any chicken.

Rinse it, then pat it nice and dry; place it on a cutting board. Try not to call it ‘Gladys.’

Butterfly it like Cassia is doing in this picture above: cut out the backbone and break the breastbone. For more specific instructions on how to butterfly, read here.

Dry the chicken again with more paper towels—this will help the skin get crispier.

Place the butterflied chicken skin-side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Since we’re about to stuff that tapenade under the skin, at this point it’s helpful to snip the membrane in between the chicken breasts that holds the skin down. That’s what I’m doing here during the cooking class:

(Thanks for the picture, Carrie!)

Using your hands, rub the olive tapenade under the skin of the chicken, and all over the surface of the skin as well. We want tapenade everywhere. Gladys wants tapenade everywhere, too.

Get it all up in the crizza, so to speak.

It helps to loosen the skin first, and then stuff it.

Don’t forget about the thighs and legs! They need some tapenade love too.

Here are some brave ladies getting down and dirty with the chickens during the cooking class.

Place the whole thyme sprigs underneath the chicken.

Final step before roasting: rub olive oil over the skin, and season the chicken generously with salt and pepper.

Roast the chicken in the oven for 35-45 minutes, until the skin is nice and browned and the juices of the chicken run clear when cut, or until the thickest part of the breasts reaches about 160 F.

Test the temperature at 35 minutes, because you really want a moist just-barely-done chicken, not an overcooked piece of leather. Trust your aunty Jenna! Overdone chicken ain’t where it’s at.

This chicken is where it’s at.

Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes, then carve and serve it with extra reserved tapenade.

The picture below is actually the Weeknight Chicken with lemon, garlic, etc., but I’m sticking it in to say that we served this chicken with the brussel sprouts and polenta as well. A perfect combination!

Make it on a weekend–or a weeknight! It’s simple enough to toss together after work, but fancy enough to make you feel like you’ve brought fine dining into your own home.

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