Surrender your lunch to the colours and flavours of the Med…

Weekend lunches. They’re the best because they’re generally tastier, usually a little more involved & often more exciting than the midweek, midday meals that sometimes sustain rather than delight…agree?

I knew you would, you’re such a well-read, edibly curious & always adventurous crowd and so with that in mind, let’s talk tapenade. Named after the Provencal word for ‘capers’ but with the first records of it being eaten emerging from Italy, this spread of the Med is traditionally made with a mixture of finely chopped olives, capers & olive oil. Whilst the components of a tapenade have been adapted over the years, two things remain constant – made right, this soft paste is always packed full of savoury flavour and made for you, it’s a total cheat’s dream for speedy meals.The recipe below does not involved you making tapenade from scratch; that, dear friends, is for another day.

This is about what happens when, on the shelves of your local M&S, you stumble across an innocent little jar seemingly packed full of European warmth, glorious sunshine & blazing sunsets and actually packed full of roasted peppers, hazelnuts & almonds.

This is about what happens when you decide to cobble together the sort of lunch which might appear to be the very definition of ‘taking a chance’ but turns out to be utterly delicious & thoroughly addictive…

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Sourdough Toasts with Red Pepper Tapenade, Salt & Pepper Cream Cheese and Toasted Pine Nuts

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • Sourdough bread, cut into 4 x 2cm thick slices
  • One jar of M&S Roasted Pepper Tapenade
  • 90g of Philadelphia Light Cream Cheese
  • Maldon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 25g pine nuts
  • Good quality olive oil

METHOD

  1. Using a small bowl and a fork, whip together your cream cheese with a generous pinch of both sea salt & black pepper then set aside.
  2. In a small dry pan on a low heat, gently toast your pine nuts until they are golden brown then remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Toast the sourdough slices to your liking and place two pieces each onto two plates.
  4. Generously top each piece with the pepper tapenade; I used a small teaspoon and about two thirds of the jar (keep the remainder refrigerated for further use).
  5. Using a clean teaspoon, dollop the salt & peppered cream cheese on top of the tapenade.
  6. Scatter your pine nuts over the toasts, drizzle with the olive oil, finish with an additional pinch of sea salt and serve immediately.

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