Tapenade, originating in the Provencal region of south-east France, is a thick paste or spread traditionally made mostly of olives chopped finely with some capers and anchovies and served with bread. While we all know how delicious olives are, they are high in fat. Olive tapenade is a quick and easy appetizer but you may be looking for ways to lighten it up a bit after all of the rich food eaten over the holidays.
Edamame are fresh green soy beans that are full of fiber and nutrients, and make a delicious, easy substitute for olives in a tapenade or pesto. One cup of shelled edamame is about 130 calories, 6 grams of healthy fat, 8 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. Compare that to one cup of olives, which is twice the amount of calories, only 1 gram of fiber and no protein. Edamame Tapenade, served with lightly toasted slices of French baguette, is a healthier alternative to the traditional olive tapenade.
You may be familiar with the edamame served in Japanese restaurants that are boiled and served in the green pods. You can purchase shelled edamame in the frozen foods section at local Trader Joe’s, which makes this Edamame Tapenade recipe quick and easy to prepare. In fact, local Trader Joe’s has everything you need to make this tasty Edamame Tapenade with Garlic Crostini.
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 & 1/2 cups frozen shelled edamame, defrosted
1/4 cup raw, unsalted almonds, toasted
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
grated zest of 1 large lemon
good handful of fresh parsley
6 – 8 leaves fresh basil
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
- With food processor running, drop peeled garlic cloves down chute of processor and pulse a few seconds to mince. Turn off processor and scrape minced garlic from sides into bowl of processor.
- Add defrosted, shelled edamame, toasted walnuts, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, parsley, basil and capers to processor. Pulse to chop ingredients.
- With processor running, slowly stream in olive oil through chute until desired consistency. The tapenade should be thick enough to spread on crostini, not runny, and ingredients should be finely chopped rather than pulsed into a smooth paste.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer tapenade from processor to serving bowl or store in airtight container in refrigerator until ready to use. Serve with Garlic Crostini (recipe below).
salt and pepper
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
- Preheat broiler setting of oven.
- Slice baguette, using a serrated bread knife, at an angle into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Place about 6 inches from broiler and toast just a minute or two until lightly golden on top side.
- Remove baking sheet from oven and turn over each slice on the baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
- Return to the broiler and toast for just another minute or two until tops are just lightly browned. Immediately remove from oven. Note: these will toast very quickly under the broiler and will burn within seconds if left unattended so watch them closely.
- While the crostini toasts are still warm, rub the tops of each with the peeled garlic cloves. Arrange the Garlic Crostini on a platter and serve with Edamame Tapenade (recipe above).
For another delicious way to use Edamame Tapenade, slowly stream in a little more olive oil with the food processor running to make a thinner consistency. Toss with drained, hot pasta, such as linguini or fettuccini. Serve with a tossed salad or roasted broccoli for an easy, weeknight meal.
For other easy snacks or appetizers that are a bit on the healthier side, try:
- Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa
- Guacamole with a California Twist
- Tequila Shrimp Ceviche
- Polenta-stuffed Mushrooms
- Spicy Dilly Beans
- Red Chili Shrimp Cocktail
- Roasted Chicken and Black Bean Nachos
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