Cookbook Profile

Pesto, Tapenade
and Sun-Dried Tomato Potatoes


Makes 30


Bite-sized or man-sized, Mediterranean potatoes are always a hit, whether they are for drinks or supper parties. To make smooth versions of the pesto and the tapenade, blend them thoroughly in a food processor or grind using a pestle and mortar.

30 small new red potatoes
2 tblsp grated Parmesan cheese
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

For the sun-dried tomato paste:
3 tblsp coarsely chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
1/2 tblsp sun-dried tomato oil reserved
   from the tomatoes, or olive oil
2 tblsp grated Parmesan cheese


For the Chunky Pesto:
makes 1/3 cup

1/2 cup fresh basil or cilantro leaves
2-1/2 tblsp pine nuts, toasted
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 tblsp olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

For the Chunky Tapenade:
makes 1/3 cup

1/4 cup pitted black olives
2 heaping tblsp fresh parsley leaves
2 tblsp capers, drained
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tblsp olive oil
Freshly ground pepper to taste


Mix together all the ingredients for the sun-dried tomato paste.

Make the Chunky Pesto by chopping the basil or cilantro coarsely and placing it in a bowl with the pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, Parmesan and seasoning. Mix well.

Make the Chunky Tapenade by coarsely chopping the olives, parsley, and capers together Place them in a bowl with the mustard, olive oil, and seasoning and stir.

Boil the potatoes for 5-8 minutes or until tender. Cut a lid from each and discard.

Hollow out the potatoes with a teaspoon and mash the flesh with a fork. Divide the flesh among 3 bowls.

Add the sun-dried tomato paste to one batch, the pesto to another, and the tapenade to the third. Mix each batch well with some seasoning.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Separately fill the potato shells with the flavored mixtures, sprinkle with Parmesan, and bake them for 10 minutes or until golden brown and piping hot. Serve.


Advance preparation:
Make the sun-dried tomato paste and tapenade up to 4 days before, cover, and chill. Normally, you would make a chunky pesto at the last minute, as the basil will discolor if stored. However, since the basil will lose some of its color on baking, it is fine to make it up to 1 day before. If you are making a smooth pesto, it can be blended up to 4 days ahead and stored covered with a film of olive oil; pour off the oil before using. You can also cook and fill the potatoes up to 1 day ahead, then cover and chill. Reheat them for 15 minutes at 375 degrees F.

Not suitable.


Party Food:
The Essential Guide to Menus, Drinks, and Planning

By Lorna Wing
Photography by Jan Baldwin
Soma Books
Cloth, $30.00
160 pages, full color photographs throughout
ISBN: 1-57959-040-3
Recipe Reprinted by permission.


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This page created April 1999