- 1/2 pound black olives in brine (Nicoise or Kalamata olives), pitted
- 1/4 cup olive oil, extra-virgin
- Juice and grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, minced
- Black pepper, freshly-ground (about 5 to 6 grindings)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon basil leaves, chopped, fresh
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
- Salt to taste
In a blender or food processor, place olives, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, and pepper; blend until slightly chunky. Cover and refrigerate to allow flavors to marry for several hours.
Return mixture to blender and add red pepper, basil, and capers; blend until mixture is smooth and spreadable. Season with additional salt to taste.
Refrigerate to store (can be prepared 4 days ahead). Serve at room temperature with Italian bread.
Makes 1 cup.