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Olives shine in this tangy, salty recipe

Feb. 07, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

If you have a thing for sugar, then the world is your oyster. The Internet alone boasts millions of recipes to satisfy any inclinations of sweetness your appetite desires, and there are entire sections in bookstores that will fill in any gaps the Internet might've missed.

If you have a thing for bacon -- and even if you don't have a thing for it -- bacon seems to go with anything, including chocolate. One could google the letter "b" and it most likely will take you to recipes including bacon. Even now there is an entire cooking show dedicated to all things bacon.

But if you have a thing for a less show-stopping ingredient, say tiny little black nubs called olives, you could find yourself in a fetal position rocking back and forth dreaming of ways to be together.

There just aren't enough recipes to satisfy my hankering ways. And it's too bad all the magazines fill their pages full of pasta dishes. Meh, who can blame them? What doesn't go with pasta? It has all the dreamy qualities an ingredient could ask for. It's perfectly content to lay quietly in the background, accepting any sauce without so much as a whimper of protest.

Yet, it truly is the bulk of the meal giving anyone who consumes it that down-home comfort food feel we all secretly desiderate. But what if you long for tangier and saltier worlds that only an olive can give? Well, I'll tell you. You're stuck like Chuck if you can't come up with something on your own.

A girl could starve looking for even a crumb's worth of an idea of where to debut an olive as the main character in a dish. Sure, you'll find it mak ing appearances in recipes as a lowly standby and occasionally you'll find it as a supporting ingredient for a Mexican or Spanish dish here and there. But rarely is it ever the star of any creation. Until now.

Olive Tapenade -- because it really is the star of this recipe, I have decided it doesn't have to boast diversity. It can be unique in its own way, finding only a few dishes it can perform beyond your expectations. It's a solo, award-winning performer in this dish.

OLIVE TAPENADE

6 oz. can of black olives, drained

3 T. prepared pesto sauce

1 T. red pepper sauce

2 cloves garlic

2 T. grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 lb. whole-wheat pasta linguine

2 cups arugula

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese for garnish

1/2 lemon, juiced

In a food processor, add the olives, pesto sauce, red pepper sauce, garlic and the 2 T. grated parmesan. While blending add the olive oil until smooth, yet chunky. Add the juice of 1/2 a lemon and mix one more time.

Add to pasta or serve on crusty bread or crackers.

Janet McCormick is the author of "10-Minute Meals." She lives in Lawrence County, Ohio. She can be reached at 304-654-2003 or www.10-minutemeals.com.

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