Take Olive Me
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this on ES before, but I went through a long, torturous process before I was able to like olives. You see, I was a picky eater as a kid (I didn’t like meat or vegetables), but have slowly grown into the food-obsessed person you know and love, eager to eat anything and everything. I take an undue amount of pride in that, so when I dislike something, I get really ashamed of it.
So a few years ago, olives were left as one of the only mainstream foods left that I didn’t like, but I kept convincing myself that I had to, and that my taste buds were still just maturing. So I went about it slowly but surely, first adding bland ones to salads and pizzas, then getting more into strongly-tasting olives, until today, when I could eat an entire jar, down a dirty martini, and put olives on anything.
Back to the point—for our big family Christmas, I was assigned dips. I wanted to do something new, and stumbled upon the idea of doing an olive tapenade type thing. Like the best dips, it’s super easy and people are unduly impressed by it. For Christmas, I made a green olive-red pepper-red onion dip. I found the onions didn’t really add that much to it, so for New Years, I revisited it and replaced the onions with pine nuts. So, the following recipe is basically just a slightly blended mix of my four favorite foods: Roasted red peppers, pine nuts, olives, and garlic. Don’t know why I never thought of this before. You just have to pulse everything in the food processor a couple of times–there’s no work at all–it’s almost Sandra Lee-ish…
Pepper-Pine Nut Tapenade
– Pour into food processor:
1 jar of green olives,
1 jar (8 oz.) of roasted red peppers,
1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts, and
2 cloves of roasted garlic.
Mix it up with a few short pulses (don’t actually blend), until it is minced semi-finely. That’s it.
Oh, and at the New Years party, I tried a shrimp cocktail. Big deal, you normal people might think, but shrimp happens to be the very last “normal” food left that I don’t enjoy. I used to hate it–even say I was allergic to it because it disgusted me that much. Now I know some of you are pisted already–people get ANGRY when you don’t like shrimp. It’s like saying you don’t like ice cream. But since the foodie days have started, I’ve been doing the olive thing and weening myself on to it, olive-style. I’ll eat fried shrimp, or little shrimps mixed into pasta or rice. But on New Years, I bonded with my friend Sara, who shares the same, slightly embarrassed anti-shrimp sentiment. So we each took a bit of shrimp cocktail and tried our best to enjoy it.
It was OK. I mean, I’m definitely not allergic, but I still don’t get it. And to that persistent question, it’s the texture AND the taste. I couldn’t even eat a whole one. I know, I’m embarrassed. Worst food blogger ever.
So my New Years Resolution: To eat and enjoy shrimp by December 2009. Let me know if you can help.