These olive and roasted garlic tapenade stuffed mushrooms are the perfect appetizer or snack packed with lots of fresh olive flavor.
I can’t buy a can of olives without thinking about dinners at my grandparents’ house as a kid. Every Sunday when we were little, before soccer games took over as the weekend activity, we’d go over for macaroni and meatball dinners. While the women perfected the sauce in the kitchen and set the table for dinner, the men could be found in the living room watching either baseball or football depending on the time of year. Come to think of it, that’s probably where my deep seeded hatred of American sports on tv comes from.
When you’re forced to dry dishes while the people with a Y chromosome in the house get to sit in front of a sports game, you’d probably end up with some residual negativity too.
While we waited for the sauce to cook down and the water to boil, there would always be a platter of celery, carrots (with a side story from grandpa about how good they were for your eyesight) and olives to snack on. My job, since making sauce was a little beyond my capabilities as a 5 or 6 year old, was to make that platter. The celery and carrot sections would be nice and full…and then there was the olive section, at best, half full from me eating them one by one as I arranged them on the plate with my back to my mom so she couldn’t yell. I’d bring the plate into the “man area” shove a few on as many fingers as I could and then run out of the room before my dad would look away from the game long enough to notice what I was doing.
As a kid, I was partial to black ripe olives but as an adult, give me any olives, any color, any intensity, pit, no pit, stuffed with blue cheese in a martini, fried up with a crispy exterior or stuffed inside a mushroom as a tapenade and I will happily devour them all.
California ripe olives are great for snacking because they go with pretty much anything (olives + nuts, olive spread on sandwiches, olives in pasta, olives in salads). Plus, they have a 3-4 year shelf life so you can keep plenty on hand to have in a pinch.
These stuffed mushrooms while not the prettiest little things (mushrooms + olives unfortunately = brown looking mush), are packed with olive flavor along with some sweetness from a handful of sun dried tomatoes and freshness from lots of basil. They’re the perfect summer bite for snacking, serving up as an appetizer or even with some grilled steak for dinner.
*This post is sponsored by California Ripe Olives through Kitchen Play. All content and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands I choose to work with.