Asian Tapenade

from Ming Tsai

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Ming says: One of America's favorite imports from the Mediterranean is olive tapenade... that delicious purée of olives that's so great as a dip and a spread. Their richness and saltiness make them the perfect partner for the classic Asian duo—fermented black beans and ginger. I combine them here to make my Asian Tapenade.

Makes about 3 cups

1/4 cup garlic, minced
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
1 red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 cup fermented black beans, minced
1 jalapeno, stemmed and minced with seeds
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 cup Nicoise olives, pitted and minced
1/2 cup Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a sauté pan coated with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat, combine garlic, ginger, onion, black beans and jalapeno, and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Add bell peppers and olives and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Deglaze with vinegar and reduce by 75%. Transfer 1/3 of the mixture to a blender and, with blender running, drizzle in olive oil at high speed. Fold blended mixture back into original mixture and check for flavor. When room temperature, store in an air-tight jar in the refrigerator.

Use this Master Recipe in Grilled Vegetable Panini with Asian Tapenade by guest Chef Mary Ann Esposito of Ciao Italia.

This recipe appears in Episode #403.