Anchovy and olive palmiers, tapenade

palmiersThese little party biscuits are incredibly easy to make – they employ what’s fast becoming one of my favourite modern conveniences, the refrigerated roll of puff pastry. There’s a particular charm in the way that no matter how squashed-looking they are when you put them in the oven, the magic in the pastry means that they’ll rearrange themselves into perfect rounded swirls (representing palm trees, hence the name) once the pastry starts to cook, without you having to exercise any particular artistic talent.

I like to make my own tapenade for these (I like it full of zip and garlic), but you can use a good shop-bought one if you like. Try experimenting with other ingredients; these palmiers are really excellent with sun-dried tomato paste, with pesto and with pounded artichoke hearts.

To make enough for nibbles for six, you’ll need:

Tapenade
100g stoned black olives in oil (Try to find something that’s not too salty in a flavourful marinade. I like Waitrose’s Spanish Couchillo olives.)
Zest of 1 lemon
4 fat cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons salted capers, well-rinsed
8 anchovies in olive oil
1 fresh red chilli
2 tablespoons olive oil

Pastry
1 pack puff pastry

Preheat the oven to 200° C. Put all the tapenade ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth enough to spread.

Lay out the rectangle of puff pastry with the long end facing you, and spread the tapenade all over the surface. (If you have any tapenade left over, try it on some toast as a snack – it’s delicious.) Roll up the side nearest you halfway towards the other side, then roll up the other side towards you to meet it. Using a very sharp knife, cut the rolled pastry into slices about half a centimetre thick.

Line a couple of baking sheets with baking paper and lay out the little pastry swirls, leaving enough room for the pastry to rise and puff. Bake for 20 minutes until crisp and golden, swapping the trays over halfway through. Serve warm with cold drinks.

9 Replies to “Anchovy and olive palmiers, tapenade”

  1. They seems very delicious !
    We have saying as health your hands to make more 🙂

    I suggest black olive paste… There were Turkish shop in Mill Road, you can find delicious black olive paste in there.

  2. Oh wow – these look so easy – and so delicious. And I’m all for any recipe that *recommends* frozen puff-pastry! A friend’s mom used to roll out plain puff pastry, then sprinkle it with herbs and parmesan, cut it into fingers and bake just like that. So simple but mmmmmm so yummy!

  3. I’ve only just found this site – what a good one! I’m currently making a batch of these but with parmesan and parma ham instead of tapenade. BTW, if you ever have to cater for vegans, it’s worth knowing that most ready made puff pastry is vegan. It’s only the posh “all butter” stuff that isn’t.

  4. Thanks Debbie! We only have one vegan friend, but I’ll admit that cooking for him is always something of a nightmare. (I remember the chocolate cake made with vegetable oil and a banana with particular disgruntlement.) Thanks for the tip – it’s very handy!

  5. You’re welcome. My sister-in-law is a vegan who’s not overly keen on vegetables(!) so I’ve had to experiment with vegan pastries and tarts. Filo brushed with olive oil isn’t quite the same as with melted butter but still perfectly acceptable; and white sauce made with soya milk and vegan marge is fine provided you infuse the milk with onions, carrots, peppercorns, bay and other herbs for half an hour or so first. But if you or anyone else out there can give me hints on what to replace eggs with in baking, other than that vile egg replacement powder (bleugh) I’d be eternally grateful.

  6. I like the idea and am going to give it a try but how much puff pastry is there in a pack? Decided that there would be a more interesting flavour come texture if I made the pastry in the same food processor as I had made the tapenade but without cleaning it out first!

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