Tapenades and Hearty Spreads

The selection of California-Mediterranean style spreads -- or 'Tapenades' is almost endless. These tasty condiments begin with a base of roasted peppers, California artichokes, garlic, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, or as in the case of a traditional Tapenade -- olives. Then a variety of herbs, spices, oil, vinegar, and other flavorful ingredients are blended in to round out the taste.

Whether you call them Tapenades, Appetizers, Relishes, or Spreads, these wonderful little mixtures turn ordinary snacks into Hors d'Oeuvres. Keep your pantry stocked with Tapenades and Pestos, add fresh bread and a glass of wine and you have an instant party.

Serve tapenades atop crostini or crackers, toss your favorite tapenade into cooked pasta, use as a pizza sauce. Add a few spoonfuls of tapenade to vinaigrette for a delicious new way to dress a salad. The uses for tapenades are endless as the variety.

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