Gifts of Yum

California Wine Country Tapenade  (wine)Remember when your mom said it's the thought that counts? Well, she may have been referring to Auntie Mae's unsightly hand-knit sweater vest at the time, but she was quite accurate. When it comes down to it, people love getting gifts, especially edible ones!

The bottom line is, as a host, everything you offer your guests is a gift and (barring the unappreciative child or two) your efforts won't go unnoticed. That being the case, there's, no need to struggle with the elaborate hors d'oeuvres for every occasion. Prepare things like tapenade, using California Ripe Olives, and other spreads and dips that are as simple as a quick pulse in the food processor. Still stressed over those last minute details? Just plate up a few prepared foods like cocktail nuts, marinated California Ripe Olives and raw vegetables. No stress, no mess and your guests will be just as jolly.

Just 'cause it's easy doesn't mean it's boring.

Just five interesting ingredients come together in this spread to make a tapenade like you've never tasted before.
All of these will last in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Greek Tapenade

  • 1 (4.25 ounce) can Chopped California Ripe Olives
  • 1/3 cup Crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Chopped sundried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 1/4 cup Coarsely chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil

Combine ingredients in a food processor and pulse 3-5 times until evenly mixed.
Serve with pita triangles or crackers. Serves 6-8.

California Ripe Olive Antipasti

Combine sliced California Ripe Olives with diced marinated red bell peppers, diced mozzarella cheese and chopped basil. Dress with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and pack into a glass jar. Cover with cellophane, tie with a ribbon and refrigerate.

Garlic stuffed California Ripe Olives

Peel and quarter (lengthwise) approximately 15-20 garlic cloves. Sauté in olive oil over low heat until just golden, then remove from heat and cool. Stuff into extra large California Ripe Olives. Place the olives into a glass jar & top off with the olive brine from the can. Cover the jar with colored cellophane, tie with a ribbon and refrigerate.

Holiday Spiced California Ripe Olives

Holiday Spiced California Ripe Olives: Whisk together a few tablespoons of olive oil and red wine vinegar. Season with orange zest, cayenne pepper, black pepper, rosemary and a dash of cinnamon. Toss with California Ripe Olives and garnish with a rosemary sprig. Pack into a glass jar, covering with the olive oil & vinegar liquid. Cover the jar with colored plastic wrap and tie with a ribbon, then refrigerate.