This sun dried tomato walnut tapenade with garlic crostini is a delicious appetizer recipe that is perfect for making ahead so that it’s all ready when you’re guests arrive.
Happy 2016 everyone! After a lovely little break, it’s great to be back. How were your holidays? Did you get a chance to relax and recharge?
I have to say, this year I had an exceptional holiday. I shared some funny failures and successes in my post wishing you all Happy Holidays, but what I didn’t mention was that the first part of the holidays I was busy finishing up my manuscript (waking up without an alarm at 6 a.m. even on my ‘off’ days was super fun and all, but it got done) and then after hitting ‘send’ I felt like I finally got to relax! I played tourist in my own city of Milwaukee (I totally have to create a post about all the fun things Milwaukee has to offer, especially the cool art museum I finally visited) and then my hubby and I took a mini trip to Las Vegas (have you ever seen any Circue Du Soliel shows? They’re magical and mind blowing!) and then we took the red eye flight home (never again, I was SO tired and didn’t sleep at all, so truly I was ‘red eyed’) and spent New Years Eye at home (which was a really nice relaxing way to spend New Years). I think I’m going to name 2015 the year of “busy,” it was a little chaotic at times, but still super great. I’m going into 2016 with goals of striving towards better balance (i.e., more relaxed and more planning) and health! I’d love to know how you spent your holidays and if you set any goals or resolutions for the New Year?
A tradition that we do with my in-laws during the holidays is that we do a Christmas tree round robin. We all go to each other’s houses and look at each other’s Christmas tree and holiday decorations. At each stop there is an appetizer. There are 10 minutes between each house, so there’s not exactly a ton of time to bake something, so this year I decided make an appetizer ahead of time so that when everyone got to our house it would be ready to serve. The appetizer I made was this sun dried tomato walnut tapenade with garlic crostini and it was SO GOOD that I just had to share it with you as the first recipe of 2016!
The tapenade and crostini can both be made ahead of time so this is great for when you’re looking for a make-ahead appetizer. Even though this is a ‘tapenade’ which is usually associated with olives, this tapenade has none, a point I was told to make by some of my olive-averse guests who tried it only after I told them it was olive free and exclaimed how much they loved it (I too am not the biggest fan of olives, but I am a huge fan of tapenades – I make the roasted red pepper tapenade that I topped this Halibut with all the time, it’s also olive free.) The dip is darker in color because of the sun dried tomatoes which are used in the recipe. I always like keeping a bag of sun dried tomatoes on hand in my pantry, they have such a great flavor, and when made in this tapenade are perfect for using as a dip, as a spread on sandwiches or even as a topping for chicken or fish!
During the holidays I always like going through my giant stack of cookbooks I’ve accumulated through the year, and this recipe was adapted after looking through the lovely cookbook: The Yellow Table: A Celebration of Everyday Gatherings. Purchase it here.
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