How about entertaining with a bit of Northern Spain/ South of France influence? Stock up on Olives and Anchovies. Tip: Give Arbequina olives a try - they are grown in Catalonia, Spain and have a buttery flavor with hints of pepper.
Tapenade comes from the word tapeno which means capers in Provence. The addition of sun dried tomatoes adds a little sweetness.
Recipe by George Hirsch | Makes 1 cup
2/3 cup black oil cured olives (Kalamata or Nicoise), pitted and finely chopped
2 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and finely chopped
4 cloves caramelized garlic
2 Tablespoons capers, drained, rinsed under cold tap water and finely chopped
2 small sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped
4 Tablespoons virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 basil leaves , chopped
In a bowl, mix together the olives, anchovies, garlic, capers, sun dried tomatoes, oil, pepper, and water. Spread Tapenade on toasted French baguette bread, top with fresh basil, or serve with your favorite sandwich.