Crostini with Olivada
Crisp crostini topped with olivada, or olive paste, is a classic appetizer in both France and Italy. The crunchy bread proves the perfect foil to the briny, anchovy- and herb-laced spread— if, that is, you can balance the intense flavor of the disparate components.
Why This Recipe Works
Our olivada recipe contains a variety of assertive flavorings, but the kalamata olives, which are easy to pit and have powerful flavor, take center stage. As for the auxiliary flavorings, most olivada recipes include capers and anchovies and tasters liked both. Extra-virgin olive oil adds its characteristic flavor and helps tie the ingredients together, but we found it best to add oil sparingly. Too much oil made the puree too smooth and it soaked through the crostini on which it was dolloped. While some olivada recipes suggest hand chopping the ingredients or using a mortar and pestle, we thought a food processor made the best sense, since it processed the ingredients to the perfect coarse but uniform texture in just about one minute.