Goat Cheese Sampler with Texas Tapenade

July 2004By Comments

2 cups pitted niçoise olives or other French black olives
1/4 cup Texas extra-virgin olive oil
1 anchovy filet
1 teaspoon capers
1 teaspoon pickled nopalitos, available at many supermarkets, including H-E-B and Central Market (or omit and double amount of capers)
1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves only, chopped
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
selection of Texas goat cheeses, about 1 pound in all
1 baguette, sliced
a few sprigs fresh herbes de Provence (such as lavender, marjoram, rosemary, sage, summer savory, basil, and thyme) for garnish (optional)
Texas rosé wine

Make Texas Tapenade

In a food processor, pulse olives just until coarsely chopped. Add olive oil, anchovy, capers, nopalitos, thyme, vinegar, salt, and pepper, and pulse until mixture forms a loose paste. Do not overprocess.

To Serve

Put a bowl of Texas Tapenade on a platter and surround with goat cheeses. Arrange slices of baguette around edge and garnish platter with sprigs of herbs. Accompany with Texas rosé. Serves 8.

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