Brie with Ligurian Olive Paste
When my friend Blair gave me the wonderful book The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen as a hostess gift, I was obviously elated. More cheese! More cheese is always a good thing. I have a couple of other cheese cookbooks, but this one is filled with really unique recipes. As the author points out, everyone and their dog has a recipe for Macaroni and Cheese (there are already four on our site), so why give you another one of those? Instead he gives us dozens of innovative dishes for everything from elegant cheese plate additions to soups, salads, and main courses. Take this Brie with Ligurian Olive Paste for example. Brie is by far my favorite cheese and I’ve baked brie with every topping imaginable, but I’ve never thought of pairing such a decadent, creamy cheese with salty olive tapenade. Turns out, it’s genius.
The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen (highly recommended!)
4 ounces black olives – nicoise or kalamata
1 tablespoon capers
1 clove garlic, sliced in half
1/8 cup olive oil
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1 wheel or wedge of Brie
In a small pan, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté over medium heat until golden brown, flipping regularly.
Place the olives and capers in the bowl of a food processor (the mini ones work well here). Pour the olive oil and garlic in, and add the zest. Pulse until smooth, scraping down the sides once or twice.
Slice the Brie in half horizontally, using a sharp knife, wire or string. It helps if the Brie is very cold when you do this. Spread the olive paste over one half of the Brie, using as much as you like (you might have leftovers – put it on a sandwich). Top with the other half of Brie, and serve with crostini, baguette slices, or water crackers.