Paolo's Tapenade

Eric was so excited to take me to Paolo's brunch one morning in Georgetown.  Mostly he wanted me to try this tapenade that you get with a basket of bread when you sit down.  PS- any restaurant that ups their free bread game is totally on my favorites list.
Before we were able to make it to the restaurant itself, I googled around to see if the recipe might be on some copycat website.  But sure enough, it was posted for all to see on Paolo's own website!
We got to try the tapenade from Paolo's first, and maybe we were starving, but it was like the best thing ever.  So many veggies in there, and so delicious!  When I finally got my own food processor, this is the recipe that jumped out at me to make first.  The epitome of a food processor recipe.  The one thing I will note (and they say this on their website too) is to add the ingredients to the food processor in batches, because it's way too much to add all at once (I tried and failed).  So pulse an ingredient a couple times and then add it to a big bowl to mix everything up at the end!  So let's get all of our ingredients together, shall we?
1 large Eggplant
1 16 oz. can Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans) in water, drained
1 24 oz. jar Green Olives with Pimento, drained
1 each Red Pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded (1/2 cup canned roasted red pepper strips is a good substitute)
1/4 bunch Parsley, roughly chopped
2 each Garlic Cloves, peeled
1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste

First we need to roast our eggplant.  Heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Cut your eggplant in half, drizzle it with olive oil, and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.  Roast for 20 minutes and when cool enough to handle, remove the skin.
Umm, looks gross.  But eggplant is roasted!  That's the hardest part of this recipe, seriously.
Now we process everything in batches!  Below I have the garlic pulsed, then added the eggplant and mixed that up, and I'm just adding parsley.  I'd dump that into a bowl when mixed, then add the chick peas and roasted red pepper.  Then the olives once the food processor was clear again.
Add all the ingredients into a bowl and add in the olive oil.  Mix everything together!  I think next time I'll leave bigger bits of each veggie and not puree it as much as it did (I was trying to fit everything into the food processor at once, I think that was the issue...).  But it tasted great!!
The salty olives, the sweet roasted red pepper, the hearty chick peas, the ...earthy eggplant?  What is it that eggplant really tastes like?  I'm not sure I know that veggie well enough, hahaha.  But anyways, it was awesome.
Especially with the freshly baked bread!  The bread was chewy in the center, crispy on the outside.  The tapenade was a perfect addition.
Look at all those flavors, melding and becoming more awesome together.
We had fresh bread, fresh butter, the tapenade, and pasta with homemade sauce.  I'm pretty sure I gained 5 pounds in one meal, and it was totally worth it.

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