This delicious Mediterranean-style spread is great to spoon on thin slices of toasted baguette, Italian bread or crackers. If you’re not using the spread right away, store it in an air-tight jar with a skim of oil on top: it can be kept like this in the fridge for up to two weeks. This recipe is from my finger-food-rich book Everyone Can Cook Appetizers.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 2-3 minutes

Makes: About 2 cups (500mL)

1 cup (250 mL) pitted black olives           

1/2 cup (125 mL) oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained well           

2 Tbsp (25 mL) capers           

2 to 3 anchovy fillets            

1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh basil leaves           

1/2 cup (125 mL) extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, sliced

2 Tbsp (30 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese.           

  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until well blended, but still a little coarse in texture. Spoon into a serving bowl; cover and let the flavours meld at room temperature for 30 minutes before digging in.

Eric’s options: Use the spread to make tasty little bites, such as toasted baguette rounds spread with soft goat cheese, a spoonful of Med-Spread spread each, and all topped  a slice of roasted red pepper and small, fresh basil leaf.