A couple nights ago was debate dinner 2.0. With a few of us really into cooking, there was no shortage of food. An elaborate, massive meal, our dinner began with a few hor d’oeuvres: caramelized walnuts and olive tapenade, accompanied by fresh bufala mozzarella and crackers.
The caramelized walnuts were the perfect combination of sweet and salty, with a little pique of pepper. The tapenade complemented it with its robust kalamata flavor.
Adapted from this recipe
- 1 cup raw walnut halves
- a scant 4 tbsp brown sugar
- roughly 1/2 tsp salt
- a generous pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp olive oil
1. Mix all of the ingredients in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat.
2. Stir occasionally to spread the seasoning evenly and avoid any burning.
3. Keeping cooking until the sugar is melted and has coated the walnuts.
4. Transfer the nuts to a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and let cool.
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives (Dorie uses black ones which I’m sure are also delicious.)
- a pinch of fresh rosemary
- a slightly bigger pinch of fresh thyme
- a pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp high quality olive oil
Toss it all into a food processor and pulse until it reaches the perfect consistency. Coarse or smooth? Your call.
A perfect bite.