I discovered making this tapenade almost by accident. I was initially making a pesto out of sun-dried tomatoes (that recipe will follow later) when I realized some of the ingredients were missing. So, being the innovative college student that I was, I just decided to throw in some black olives instead and turn it from a pesto to a tapenade. Voila!
*The difference between the two is as follows: a pesto primarily coats pasta, gnocchi, etc. A tapenade is usually spread on toasted bread, crackers, etc and eaten that way.
1/2 lb (or about 8-10 oz) sun dried tomatoes packed in oil*
8-12 oz jar of black Moroccan olives (not packed in water or oil, and pitted)
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Freshly cracked black pepper
*I make this myself by buying dried tomatoes and packing them in olive oil myself. Much cheaper than buying them already packed in oil in jars.
Food processor or blender; rubber or silicone spatula
1) Open jar(s) of sun-dried tomatoes and olives
2) Wash and dry the basil leaves
Place your sun-dried tomatoes (with the oil), olives (no oil or water), and basil in the food processor. Add your black pepper, grinding it directly into the mixture. Pulse the mixture until it is coarsely blended; open and stir, to ensure an even chop. Pulse again until the mixture is finely blended. Taste and season - if you prefer more basil or if the mixture is too dry and needs more oil. You should not need to add any salt, as the olives pack enough of a punch. If you add more salt, you will end up mummifying yourself, so lay off.
Pack it into a large jar, drizzle some olive oil on top, and store in fridge. It'll stay for about 1-2 months.
Note: Feel free to add or substitute different ingredients. Add more tomatoes or olives to your liking; perhaps some freshly grated Parmesan cheese (go easy, as it will add plenty of saltiness to the party) or, if you do not like olives, throw in some pine nuts or walnuts to the food processor instead. You can serve this with toasted baguette slices with fresh mozzarella or goat cheese, on a pizza, or as a pesto for pasta. Your choice.