Last summer a group of friends watched the documentary “Forks over Knives”. The film boldly investigated the claim that almost all degenerative diseases can be controlled and even reversed by adopting an animal-free based diet. Certainly food for thought. Recently one of those dear friends faced a huge health crisis. Thankfully she came through with flying colors. In the wake of her recovery she has adopted a vegan diet. Eliminating all animal-based foods. Kiss anything with a mother or a face good-bye.
Last weekend my husband and I were invited to an intimate dinner in her greenhouse. A real treat as six-point bucks walked past as we toasted our good fortune. The hostess, a consummate chef, prepared an exquisite vegan bill of fare. When I asked if I could bring anything and she requested an hors d’oeuvre I was faced with my own culinary challenge. A typical vegetarian canapé is a slam-dunk, but a vegan one tests the limits. My biggest pitfall was dairy. No eggs, no butter, no cheese.
Of course I could bring hummus with an array of baby organic vegetables. But I also wanted something that felt like a fancy canapé- a festive finger food. As I walked through the produce section the olive bar caught my eye. How about a tapenade atop an olive oil crostini?
Combine olives, capers, garlic, mustard, thyme, parsley, crushed red pepper and lemon juice, and half of the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor.
Pulse until mixture is coarsely pureed, add more olive oil as needed to obtain desired consistency.
For the crostini thinly slice a baguette on the diagonal.
Brush the slices with olive oil. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
Bake until crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Top crostini with tapenade and serve.
With such good friends at your table one can face any challenge.