Despite the fact that the 4th of July is perhaps the most predictably scheduled holiday on the calendar, I still feel blindsided by its seemingly sudden approach. It’s hard to believe that it’s even July already- What happened to the other 6 months that are supposed to come before it? I can’t recall a single one.
No need to panic though, Independence Day is such a laid back and happy-go-lucky event that there’s rarely much preparation to be done in advance. Slice up a big watermelon, pack a giant cooler full of ice, sodas, and beer, and I’d say that you’re all set for a party. Once your guests come, toss some veggie burgers and dogs on the grill, and then drag the kids down to the beach at night to watch the fireworks. Sounds like a pretty good day, right?
Well, if that’s not enough for you, here’s one super simple hors d’oeuvre that you can whip up and impress your friends with. Tapenade, a basic paste made of pureed olives, is not a new concept in the least, but only recently have I gained an appreciation for olives and discovered how delicious they can be. Now, I’ve found myself smearing this chunky dip over crackers, in sandwiches, and even stirred into hot pasta. My version is somewhat heavy on the garlic, but not so much so that you have to worry about garlic breath after enjoying a dollop.
Although some tapenades are completely smooth, I prefer mine with a bit of texture, so I only pulse the mixture in the food processor. You’re welcome to puree the heck out it if you prefer.
Roasted Garlic Tapenade
Place all of the ingredients in your food processor or blender, and pulse until everything is well-incorporated but still slightly chunky. Dish it up alongside chips or crackers for a “self-serve” kind of snack, or spoon a dollop on small pieces of toast and top with fresh chives for any easy little crudite.