There is this guy who drives a semi up and down the Midwest stopping at parking lots as he goes selling crates of Georgia peaches, Michigan blueberries, and pecans. He comes to our town 2 or 3 times a year. That is it.
His peaches are sweet and juicy – the kind that results in sticky fingers you wipe in the grass because there is no way you are using energy to get up and move around under the sweltering, summer sun. His blueberries are plump and sweet and tangy. And, apparently the kind you can’t cook with…even though you’ve been dreaming up recipes ever since your mother told you it would be you standing in line to get them at 8 in the morning…and you have a food blog.
Well, mostly because you have a food blog. So if someone tells you there will be 5 pounds of blueberries sitting in your home, your adrenaline gets pumping and your brain turns into an etch a sketch of good (and crazy, and just plain horrible) ideas you try to jot down somewhere before you have no room left and you have to shake it clean again.
Needless to say, it didn’t matter if I couldn’t use the decidedly delicious blueberries in my recipes, the ideas were there and I had to get them out. This one in particular has been gnawing at the surface for a while now – even before the mention of blueberry paradise.
This tapenade might not look very appealing (and I have a very imaginative family who isn’t afraid to get vocal with this kind of feedback), but it is certainly interesting. In fact, the exact first impression of my father was, “That’s interesting…in a good way.”
Then he popped two more in his mouth.
This sweet and salty appetizer pairs wonderfully with goat cheese because it starts off with a sort of blueberries and and cream feel and ends on a slightly salty note that has a definite bite to it. For an added pop of flavor that locks this in as a savory appetizer, garnish your crostini with a chiffonade of basil and some freshly cracked black pepper. If goat cheese isn’t your thing, try topping it with some freshly grated parmesan or using a cream cheese base instead.
- ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
- ½ cup roasted, unsalted almonds
- 1 ½ cups fresh blueberries (1 or 1 ½??)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 basil leaves
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- Salt to taste
- TO SERVE
- + 1 loaf French baguette slices, lightly toasted
- +1 log of plain goat cheese
- +basil to garnish
- +freshly cracked pepper
- Using a food processer, grind together the almonds, olives, and spices. Then transfer it to a bowl. Make a chiffonade of basil and add it to the mix. Then measure out the blueberries and put them in a separate bowl. Using a fork, lightly mash the blueberries, letting most of them keep at least part of their natural shape. Then combine the olive mixture with the blueberries and combine.
- To serve, thinly slice baguette bread. Toast it. Then spread some goat cheese onto the toast and top it off with the tapenade, garnishing with more basil and some freshly cracked pepper.
- This can make somewhere between 40-60 crostini depending on how much tapenade you put on each slice of toast.