Ah, rosemary.  I love the smell of it.  Plus, having a rosemary plant in the house is so festive at Christmastime.

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Did you know that rosemary is a member of the mint family?  That explains its aromatic presence.  You can use this herb in so many ways, too.  From blending into salad dressing and sauces to roasting with veggies and meats to pureeing into dips, baking into breads and muffins and infusing into extra-virgin olive oil.  It imparts such unique and fresh flavor to any meal or snack.  Rosemary is packed with beneficial antioxidants, as well as compounds that fend off bacterial growth, thus it has been used as a preservative in foods for centuries.

As I gear up for a holiday get together tonight, I am going to bring a simple appetizer.

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I am going to coarsely chop or blend together artichokes, black olives, capers, smoked paprika and a couple of rosemary sprigs.  And wha-la, it will be my version of tapenade.

To make the toast points (aka pita chips), I simply use large whole grain pitas and cut them into triangles and split in half.  Place on a cookies sheet and brush with garlic and extra-virgin olive oil and pop into the oven.

Artichoke and Olive Rosemary Tapenade

Artichoke-tapenade.jpg Makes 24 pita chips (with a generous dollop of tapenade on each)

Ingredients

2 cups marinated artichokes, drained

1 cup black or green olives, sliced

1 Tablespoon petite capers, drained

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 – 3 sprigs rosemary, needles only

2 large whole grain pitas, cut into triangles and split

1 Tablespoon garlic powder

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine artichokes, olives, capers, paprika and rosemary in a food processor.  Pulse a couple of times until just blended. Avoid over-pulsing it; the consistency should be chunky. (Unless you want a smoother kind of spread.)

In a small bowl mix together olive oil and garlic powder.  Place pita chips on a cookie sheet and lightly brush with garlic olive oil.   Place in the oven for 10 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes.  Top each chip with a generous teaspoon of the tapenade, arrange on a platter and serve.

Nutrition Information (per a chip with tapenade): Calories: 45, Total Fat: 2 g, Saturated Fat: 0 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 121 mg, Total Carbohydrate: 6 g, Dietary Fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 1 g

What are you whipping up for your holiday gatherings?  I’d love to know.

Enjoy eating simply,

-Vicki

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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