Dirty martinis and tapenade are an appetizer combo that makes the absolute most out of the humble olive. The martini, a mix of gin and vermouth, takes a savory spin when it gets a dash of olive brine, and when paired with the olive-based spread, a combination is formed that’ll whet any palate. Similarly, this can work with many deliciously briny foods besides olives, like Bumble Bee® Tuna.
Let’s see how.
The tapenade is going to require a little prep, so we’ll start there.
As with any good tapenade, crostinis are needed. First, preheat an oven to 350 degrees and slice a baguette into half-inch thick slices. Then brush each one with olive oil, garlic, and salt to give them some oomph. Bake these for 15-20 minutes until nicely toasted. While those are doing their thing, start the tapenade.
Finely chop a ½ cup of not one, but two, kinds of olives that are called for: Castelvetrano and black. Also chop a ¼ cup parsley and roughly 2 tablespoons of pimiento peppers as well.
Grab a mixing bowl, and dump the chopped veggies into it. Add two tablespoons of both olive oil and non-pareil capers, and a 5oz can of Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore Tuna. Make sure to reserve the tuna brine for the incoming martini. Once everything is in the bowl, give it a good mix and set it aside.
Before we pronounce the tapenade a done deal, mix a cup of creme fresco (sour cream or crème fraîche work too) with a teaspoon of paprika. Spread about ½ a tablespoon on each crostini (once properly toasted, of course) and then top each with a tablespoon of the tuna tapenade. The creme fresco gives the dish a needed dose of freshness to cut through the unctuous tapenade, so I implore you to not skip this step under the guise of it being an optional addition.
With the crostinis and tapenade finished, the only thing left to do is give them a good drink pairing.
The tunatini is pretty straightforward. Throw 6oz of vodka (this drink will surely kickstart a good night) in a cocktail shaker. Add 2oz of vermouth, 2oz of tuna brine, a teaspoon of lemon juice, and a cup of ice. Give it a vigorous shake, then pour and garnish with a lemon peel and as many olives as desired.
Prep as many crostinis and tunatinis as needed, whether that’s for yourself or guests. Maybe it’s been a long day, maybe you just really love tuna and want to share that with your closest friends.
Either way: the prep is over, so time to enjoy the fruits of your labor, and the true gastronomic diversity of a can of Bumble Bee® tuna.