After tasting a delicious olive tapenade at a restaurant a few years ago, I started playing around with different olive dip recipes to serve on Shabbos, alongside the fish. I tried the typical spanish olives with mayo, green olives with garlic and olive oil, and finally this recipe, which proved to be by favorite. The sundried tomatoes add a delicious flavor and color to the dip. When I was plating this for photographing, my two year old daughter asked if she could have some in a sandwich. I put two pieces of crostini together, and she ate the whole thing! If a two year old can appreciate its deliciousness, imagine how much you, and your guests, will!
Sundried Tomato Olive Tapenade
1 19oz can black olives (I use manzanilla)
1/2 jar of sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil, about 10
4 tbsp oil from the jar of sundried tomatoes (or extra virgin olive oil)
3 garlic cloves
Add olives, sundried tomatoes, garlic and oil to a food processor. Pulse until it reaches desired consistency (I like it a bit chopped and piecey otherwise it will have a sandy/grainy texture).
I like chicken. Chicken is ok. Me, and chicken, are good. Am I head over heels for chicken? not really. In fact, whenever I am pregnant, I have an aversion to it and cannot eat it. But I make it all the time because it’s a good source of protein, and my husband and kids enjoy it. This roasted chicken recipe took my taste for chicken to a whole ‘nother level. Roasting the chicken whole, stuffed with lemons, garlic and thyme, gives the chicken an incredible flavor that is not too overpowering, it’s just right. The chicken comes out so incredibly moist, you will want to eat the whole thing in one sitting!
The recipe calls for 1 5-6 lb. bird, but since my butcher only had 3-3.5 pounders, I made 2, and filled each with half a lemon and half a head of garlic. If you can get a 6 lb. chicken, go ahead and fill each cavity with a whole head of garlic (cut in half), and one whole lemon (cut in half) and of course, a bunch of thyme.
This chicken is beautiful served at the Friday night meal, with some rice and veggies on the side.
Lemon & Garlic Roasted Whole Chickens adapted from Barefoot Contessa
2 3-3.5 lb. roasting chickens
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme
1 lemon, cut in half
1 head garlic, cut in half
2 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 425. Remove excess fat and feathers from the chickens. Clean well, rinsing inside and out. Pat dry. Season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper and stuff it with the thyme (you can reserve a little for garnish), lemon and garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Roast for 1 hour.
Like most kids, my girls are pretty picky eaters. I have to drown their food in ketchup to get them to eat it. But this recipe is so pretty and delicious, they ate it down to the last drop. To make it more fun, I used corkscrew pasta (also known as Rotini), and taking a que from the Sandra Lee semi-homemade philosophy, I used frozen garlic cubes and spinach, making this dish come together in no-time! So go ahead, serve it to your kiddies. No ketchup required.
The frozen garlic cubes offer a milder taste to the dish than their fresh counterparts. If you’re making this for adults only (or your kids like the taste of lotsa fresh garlic) go ahead and use the real thing. I would recommend cutting down to 2-3 cloves.
I’ve also opted for extra light olive oil because of the mild flavor. However, if you like the full-bodied fruitiness of traditional olive oil, go ahead and use that instead.
I like to top my pasta with just a sprinkle of toasted bread crumbs. This adds texture and crunch to the dish and takes it over the top. If you don’t like the sound of it, just go ahead and leave it out.
1 box Rotini pasta
1 10oz. box frozen chopped spinach
4-5 frozen garlic cubes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
extra light olive oil
1/8 cup breadcrumbs, optional
In a frying pan, drizzle some olive oil and add the garlic cubes. Turn the fire on medium, allowing the garlic cubes to melt as the oil heats up (if you throw the cubes into hot oil, the oil will splatter in every direction and the garlic will burn). Stir the cloves until fully melted and slighly cooked.
Remove the foil from the box of spinach and microwave for about 6 minutes until thawed. If the spinach is hot, wait for it to cool and squeeze the water out in batches, using your hands (I wear gloves for this). Add the spinach to the pan and saute, mixing with the garlic until full incorporated. Add more oil if needed. Season with salt and pepper.
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta, but not thoroughly, leaving a bit of water. Return the pasta to the pot, and add the spinach mixture. Stir well until the spinach is well incorporated. If the pasta is slightly dry, add a bit more oil. Adjust seasonings if needed.
To toast the breadcrumbs, add them to the frying pan that you used to saute the garlic and spinach. This will infuse it with some of the garlic flavor. Stir on a medium flame, taking care that the breadcrumbs do not burn. Remove from pan when they have reached desired doneness, as they will continue to brown if left in the pan.