Capers add pungency to tapenade wrap

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

When you need to jam a lot of flavor into a simple dish, reach for an umami bomb.

That is, foods jammed with the fifth taste -- savory (to go along with bitter, sweet, salty and sour). In a small package, these foods deliver big flavor. Things like Parmesan cheese, anchovies and steak.

It's one of the reasons I'm a fan of tapenade, a puree of olives, anchovies, garlic, capers, olive oil and thyme. It can be spread on baked fish, used as a dip or spread for bread, or work as a sandwich condiment.

And don't let the anchovies spook you. You'll never know they are there, but the flavor isn't the same without them.

Roasted Chicken Wraps with Tapenade

1 1/2 cups pitted Kalamata olives

2 anchovies

3 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons capers

3 tablespoons olive oil

Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

Pinch red pepper flakes

Salt and ground black pepper

4 large flour tortillas

Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves

Meat from a 1 1/2-pound rotisserie chicken

12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, patted dry and chopped

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a food processor, combine the olives, anchovies, garlic, capers, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, thyme and red pepper flakes. Pulse until very finely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, then pulse again.

Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of the tapenade over each tortilla. Top with several leaves of lettuce, then a quarter each of the chicken, red peppers and Parmesan cheese. Wrap the sides of the tortilla around the fillings. The wraps can be eaten as is or heated in a 350 F oven. Serves four.

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