A muddy, ruddy mix of mashed black olives and capers may not look very appetizing, but the Mediterranean paste packs a salty, earthy wallop that goes well with most anything dipped into it. Although you can purchase jarred tapenade at the store, it's easy enough to make at home—just blitz a handful of black olives, along with a few garlic cloves, some drained capers, and fresh parsley in a food processor. A splash of red wine vinegar, and a spritz of lemon juice add acidity and brightness, while olive oil helps to bind everything together.
Tapenade is often served as a dip or spread but also makes for a great replacement for mayonnaise and mustard in a sandwich.
For this recipe, the rich homemade tapenade is spread into an herby focaccia roll followed by some spicy salami, peppery arugula, a roasted red bell pepper, and a sprinkling of crumbled goat cheese. Although the ingredients in this sandwich are all very strongly flavored, each remains distinct with every bite.
- For the Tapenade:
- 8 ounces black pitted olives (kalamata or nicoise), drained
- 2 medium cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon capers, drained
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the Sandwich:
- 4 focaccia rolls
- 4 ounces sliced Genoa salami
- 2 cups packed arugula (about 1 ounce)
- 4 jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
For the Tapenade: Combine olives, garlic, parsley, pepper flakes, capers, vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor and pulse until everything is well combined and chopped fine, 8 to 10 short pulses. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To make the sandwiches, split each of the focaccia rolls in half. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the tapenade on the tops and bottoms of the focaccia rolls.
Place a roasted red bell pepper on each of the bottom halves of the sandwiches, followed by a layer of salami, and a layer of arugula. Divide the goat cheese evenly among the sandwiches. Top with the remaining tapenade-covered focaccia and serve immediately.