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Appetizer Platters, Wine and Great Fun

Today was our neighbor Natalie’s mother’s birthday, and her parents were in town. Gary and I have grown close to Nat and her parents, so she invited us over for happy hour to start the celebration before they had dinner. I promised to make a couple of appetizers, and of course, we would bring a bottle of wine. We were prepared to stay for an hour or so and then allow the family to have a dinner celebration.

Appetizer Platter

I knew I wanted to “bring it” since Natalie always makes such fab appetizers to bring to our house. It was a good thing that I had been planning some apps in my head for future posts. So today I decided to make three spreads: Roasted Campari Italian-style Tomatoes, Kalamata Olive Tapenade, and Baba Ganoush served with toasted baguette and multigrain bread slices.

Based on the feedback and the empty dishes, I think they were a hit. Oh, and between my platter and Natalie’s charcuterie and cheese platter…that was dinner and we all kept nibbling all night long.  Happy hour turned into happy 3 1/2 hours. We had a blast!

Today, I am sharing the Kalamata Olive Tapenade recipe. I will be sharing the other recipes as the week proceeds but I am not announcing what is posting when. So you will need to return each day to see what recipe I released to complete the platter.

Kalamata Olive Tapenade

Kalamata olives are my favorite olive. The fact that I can buy a huge jar of these pitted olives at Costco is a bonus. I always keep some on hand to add to salads or antipasti platters. But I also love a fresh tapenade. Store bought, I do not think so? It has to be homemade. Capers are another favorite of mine and they provide a salty and vinegar element to the tapenade that helps balance the dish. Lastly, there is anchovy paste. DO NOT let this scare you. It does not impart a “fishy” taste or smell to this spread. It does, however, provide that umami taste element that adds the necessary complexity to this spread.


1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and drained

2 tablespoon drained capers

1 teaspoon anchovy paste

5 medium cloves garlic

2 tablespoon loosely packed fresh oregano leaves

10 basil leaves

2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2-3 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed



Using a food processor:   Combine olives, capers, anchovy paste, garlic, basil, oregano, mustard and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. With the processor running, drizzle in just enough olive oil to loosen to a spreadable paste, about 3 tablespoons. Season with salt and add additional tablespoon of lemon is needed. Place in a small serving dish and garnish with basil and/or lemon.

It is best for you to make it a several hours before time to serve so that the flavors can meld together.

Store in the refrigerator but allow to come to room temperature by removing from fridge about an hour prior to serving.

Downloadable Recipe Here: Kalamata Olive Tapenade

What we drank

While enjoying the appetizer platters, we started with the Mas de Gassac Rosé Frizant to toast the birthday. We then moved to the Jean-Paul Brun Beaujolais Blanc 2015. While this wine is no longer available the 2016 vintage has been released. This vintage is very different when compared to 2015. Gary will like it a lot. Me, no so much. We then progressed to other wines as the party continued.



amazing wines


That is all for now.



serving temperature

One Comment

  1. Everything was wonderful!!! Still dreaming about your delicious apps! and you did indeed bring it! Lucky to have such wonderful neighbors I always love our happy hours!! xoxo

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