Note: In exchange for a review, Bridgewater, Connecticut-based The Gracious Gourmet sent me three different spreads – roasted eggplant tapenade, hatch chile pesto, and portobello mushroom tapenade. All photos are courtesy of The Gracious Gourmet.
After spending nearly 25 years in the retail industry, a power outage fortuitously thrust Nancy Wekselbaum into the food business. In 2006, at the urging of a friend, she started to sell her (now known as) dried fruit chutney. Ten years later, there is a large variety of dips, tapenades, and spreads, both savory and sweet – as well as completely vegan and gluten-free – and that’s where I come in.
At a recent Manhattan cheese event hosted by these folks, I quite enjoyed the hatch chile pesto. (Hatch chilies are one of my many edible weaknesses.) Although it lacked my desired kick, the tanginess paired well with the variety of carbs available. Based on that one product alone, I decided to visit The Gracious Gourmet‘s website. Let’s look at a couple more jars.
As a kid, I hated mushrooms. Eating them, too. But then, some time ago, our gardener brought us some hen-of-the-woods from our lawn to try, and I was
Portobello mushrooms are good culinary canvases. Make a sandwich out of – or with – them, roast them, grill them, or…turn them into tapenade. Although I was hoping for more of an earthy flavor, the portobello mushroom tapenade still went well on my (even more olive oil-basted) crostini.
The roasted eggplant tapenade might have been my favorite of the three.
Somehow or another, eggplant was another food that I never liked in the halcyon days of youth, but now, it might be my most consumed (
fruit?) vegetable. In addition to the eggplant, garlic and cilantro stood out as the dominant flavors. I’d even spread this stuff on grilled eggplant.