Friday, October 9, 2009

Sweet Basil Tapenade

This is a recipe from my sister's present to me. She gave me an extra copy of the book Veganomicon so that I could make vegan stuff for her. She's so thoughtful. The tapenade is so good that my dad has even made it. Not just liked it. He made it himself. That's impressive. Normally, we just serve it on baguette slices--toasted is better-- and it's great that way. This time I had some extra and decided it would taste good on grilled chicken. And it does. So I used the chicken recipe from Giada and just switched out the basil dressing for the tapenade (the basil dressing is also tasty--makes a nice lemony grilled chicken). The slightly tart lemon on the chicken was a perfect compliment to the sweetness of the tapenade.

Sweet Basil Tapenade

3 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup walnut pieces or halves
2 to 4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup walnut oil (can use more olive oil)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp grated fresh lemon zest
1&1/2 tsp  salt, or to taste
Black pepper

Chop the basil, walnuts, and garlic in a food processor until chunky. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the processor bowl frequency. Add the oils, maple syrup, and lemon zest, and process until thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Store in a glass jar with a thin layer of olive oil on the surface and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Grilled Chicken With Basil Dressing

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus 1/4 cup
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
3 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1 large garlic clove
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Whisk 1/3 cup of oil, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, fennel seeds, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper in a resalable plastic bag. Add the chicken and seal the bag. Massage the marinade into the chicken. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day, turning the chicken occasionally.

Meanwhile, blend the basil, garlic, lemon peel, remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a blender until smooth. Gradually blend in the remaining 1/3 cup oil. Season the basil sauce, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Prepare the barbecue for medium-high heat or preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from the marinade. Discard the marinade. Grill the chicken until just cooked through, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to serving plates, drizzle with the basil sauce and serve.

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