Kalamata Olive and Roast Almond Tapenade

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Every year I say, I’m not doing anything for Christmas, I can’t afford it, I don’t have time, blah blah blah. But then, every year, next minute, I’m elbows deep in royal icing, fighting off the flies on a 35 degree summer’s day, making gingerbread houses that no-one is going to eat. And I secretly love it.

However, I’m guessing most people aren’t like me, so here is a recipe for an impressive but very easy appetiser for these entertaining times. Will post another one tomorrow for an even easier one!dsc_1371 dsc_1396dsc_1415 dsc_1434

Makes about 2 cups
500g kalamata olives
4 anchovies plus 1 tbs of their oil
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs capers
4 tbs olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
1 cup roasted almonds plus a quarter of a cup of sliced to serve
To Serve
4 garlic bulbs, cut and roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper at 180 degrees for about 30mins
Cherry tomatoes on the vine, roasted at 180 degrees for about 15mins
Danish Feta
Fresh baguette (or a gluten free alterna
Fresh basil leaves
To make the tapenade, first roughly chop the almonds in a food processor by using the pulse button so as not to over-chop. Empty them into a bowl.
Place the olives, anchovies, garlic, capers, olive oil, lemon juice and pepper in the processor and process until combined and relatively smooth. Empty into the bowl with the almonds and stir to combine.
To serve, place in a bowl and top with the extra sliced almonds. Place bowl on a platter with the garlic, tomatoes, feta, baguette and basil leaves.

Hummus Plate with Spiced Cauliflower and Macadamias

DSC_0531 DSC_0529Hummus would definitely have to be one of my top ten favourite dishes. Oh, thy humble chickpea, how I love thee. Simple hummus on a cracker or a carrot stick is so tasty and nourishing; wait till you try it like this. In Israel, hummus is often eaten as a meal, topped with delicious treats such as olives, chilli paste, fresh tomato, parsley, olive oil, and even spiced lamb mince, scooped up in a piece of flat bread….heavenly!

There is so much I could say here about how amazing hummus is, from it’s nutritional benefits, history, tradition, different recipe methods, etc, I would have to write a referenced essay to properly explain it all and I’m pretty sure most people don’t care THAT much.

Chickpeas can often cause a lot of people a bit of grief in the ‘gas’ department. But recent chats with an Israeli friend concluded that the traditional method of soaking and boiling the chickpeas with some bi-carb soda and then scooping the skins from the surface of the water, can greatly reduce this unfortunate occurrence. I haven’t included that method in this recipe but simply google it for the how to. Alternatively, use Yotam Ottelenghi’s recipe for hummus, it’s the best I’ve ever had, and very simple. My recipe here is a quick and simple version, but still delicious, especially with the scrumptious topping!

The crispy garlic and whole chickpeas are so good, you could even cook these up in a bigger batch and serve them on their own as a snack with some cold beers. Replace the purple cauliflower with regular white cauliflower or broccoli if you like. 




Serves 4 as a starter



1 clove garlic

410g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, 1/4 reserved for frying

1/4 cup tahini

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup cold water

salt and pepper

Crispy Garlic and Chickpeas

2 tablespoons macadamia oil

reserved chickpeas (1/4 can)

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced


Spiced Cauliflower

1 tablespoon macadamia oil

1 cauliflower, florets separated, large ones halved or quartered

1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 1/2 tsp sumac

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

salt and pepper

1/2 cup parsley

1/2 cup roasted macadamias, chopped

To serve

1 lemon, quartered

handful of chopped parsley

macadmia oil

warmed flat bread


To make the hummus, place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until very smooth. Set aside.

For the crispy garlic and chickpeas, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Fry the chickpeas and garlic, sprinkled with a generous pinch of salt, until golden and crispy. Remove from pan and set aside.

For the cauliflower, in the same pan, on medium, heat the macadamia oil and add the spices, cauliflower, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring often, until the cauliflower is just cooked through, about 10 mins, you may need to add a splash of water if it’s getting too dry. Remove from heat. Stir through the parsley, macadamias and crispy garlic and chickpeas.

To serve, spread the hummus out onto a large plate, top with the cauliflower mixture, drizzle with extra oil, sprinkle with extra parsley and squeeze over the lemon. Serve with the warmed flat bread. Enjoy!