Question: Growing up in Chicago I recall grocery-shopping with my mother and purchasing something called olive butter. It was salty, spreadable and good on toast or crackers.
Would you have any idea what the recipe might be? Those of us with blenders and food processors could probably make this if it is no longer available commercially.
Answer: Perhaps you are referring to the earthy olive spread from southern France, \o7 tapenade. \f7 According to "Cooking A to Z" (Ortho Books: 1988) edited by Jane Horn, it is also used with cold roast beef or on grilled lamb chops.
You may be able to find the spread in specialty food stores, but the book includes the following recipe which, as you guessed, is prepared in a blender or food processor.
1/2 pound large, black Greek olives or Nicoise olives, pitted
1 ounce anchovy fillets
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Place olives in food processor or blender. Add anchovies, garlic, capers and olive oil. Process or blend briefly. Mixture should be blended but still coarse. Transfer to bowl and season to taste with pepper.
Store in refrigerator up to 6 months in crock or jar, covered with thin layer of olive oil. Makes 1 cup.
Q: We are going to go pick our olives this year about October. Last year we did not seal the jars, so we lost a lot of olives. Could you please provide information on keeping this from happening?
A: "Home Pickling of Olives," leaflet 2758 from the University of California, should answer your questions. Send a request and $1.56 ($1.25 plus 31 cents postage and handling) to: ANR Publications, University of California, 6701 San Pablo Ave., Oakland, Calif. 94608-1239. Checks should be made payable to U.C. Regents.
Q: I have several old recipes that call for B.V. It is no longer available in our area. Do you know where I can purchase some?
A: Are you referring to bovril, a liquid beef concentrate imported from England? If so, it may be purchased at Tudor House, 411 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, (213) 451-4107. You may also be able to find it in some specialty food stores.
The seasoning base is used to flavor soups, sauces and stews. Use sparingly, as it tends to be salty.
\o7 Address questions on food preparation to You Asked About ..., Food Section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053. Personal replies cannot be given.