Whole Living Daily

Meatless Monday: Roasted Beet and Arugula Sandwich with Green Olive Tapenade

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Isn’t it funny when you suddenly start liking a food that you previously despised? How does that happen? This is the case with me and olives. Up until just a couple years ago, I thought olives were totally vile, and now I worship them.
With so many varieties and seemingly endless possibilities for culinary use, olives are especially good for vegetarian fare as they enrich and deepen the flavor of almost anything: salads, sauces, soups, stews. They're amazing in pastas and on pizza, fabulous tucked into a sandwich, or perfect as a little afternoon snack. Oh, the possibilities!

One of my favorite ways to prepare olives is making them into a purée, called tapenade. Originating from the South of France, the word tapenade actually comes from the provençal word for capers, tapenas, which are an integral part of the classic spread. Other ingredients vary from region to region, but common add-ins include garlic, herbs, lemon, anchovies, and even brandy. I’ve done a vegan version here, with roasted hazelnuts and my herb of choice is the off-beat tarragon (but you can change up either if you like; go for walnuts or almonds or flat-leaf parsley if you're not fan of tarragon's anise flavor).

Most tapenades are made using black olives, but I wanted to try my hand at something a little different by using the green sort. Save yourself some time and hassle and buy green olives that have already been pitted.

Sweet, slow-cooked beets complement the salty-citrus notes of the tapenade, and the arugula adds a spiciness to round out the flavor. And don't stop here: this tapenade is also stellar on a tapas plate or as a pesto-type dress for pasta. (I even used it to stuff homemade ravioli—incredible!)

All love for olive
Aside from being totally delicious, olives boast an astounding number of phytonutrients (think very healthy plant compounds). Few high-fat foods offer such a diverse range of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, some of which are unique to olives themselves.

Given this phytonutrient potency, it's not surprising that olives have documented health benefits. According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, olives boost heart health and immunity, fight inflammation, and aid digestion.

Roasted Beet and Arugula Sandwich with Green Olive Tarragon Tapenade
Makes 1

1 red beet
2 slices whole-grain sourdough bread
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing bread
A good slather Green Olive Tarragon Tapenade (see recipe below)
Handful of arugula

1. Heat oven to 400°. Wrap whole beet in foil and roast until soft (time will vary depending on size of beet), about 40 minutes.
2. Remove foil and let sit for 5 minutes until cool enough to handle. Slip skin off under cool running water. Slice.
3. Brush bread with olive oil and toast until golden. Spread one slice with a layer of Green Olive Tarragon Tapenade, then top with beet slices and arugula.

Green Olive Tarragon Tapenade

½ cup hazelnuts (or other nut)
2 cups green olives
¼ cup fresh tarragon (or parsley)
1/8 cup capers
Juice of one lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup (or agave or honey)

1. Roast hazelnuts in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant and the skins begin to crack. Transfer to a food processor.
2. Add all other ingredients and pulse until chunky and well mixed. Blend a little longer for a smoother texture. Store tapenade in the fridge for up to one week.

Sarah Britton is a holistic nutritionist, vegetarian chef, and the creator of the award-winning blog My New Roots. Sarah is currently a chef at three organic restaurants in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she has earned praise for her creative and adventurous recipes. A Certified Nutritional Practitioner, she is also the founder of New Roots Holistic Nutrition, where she educates others to be an active participant in their own health and healing.

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Comments (13)

  • Great recipe, Sarah! I've been dying to make tapenade. It's such a fall recipe!

  • the idea of olive tapenade with beets sounds amazing! this sandwich looks delicious. i love that it's so different from standard vegan sandwiches!

  • This is divine! I love the beets on the sandwich. I want to make this for lunch tomorrow!

  • I just found your blog and I love it. The tapenade looks incredibly good, especially paired with beets. I'm bookmarking this now.

  • Wow, this recipe sounds delish! I have never tried tapenade before...at least I don't think so! :)

  • I just made this last evening, with the substitution of kalamata olives vs green, only because its what I had in the house, with a dash of garlic, and I have to tell you this was incredibly delicious! And the beets/arugula combo with this was just perfect. Thank you so much for a very tasty and healthy meal.

  • [...] had no idea what it even tasted like when I bought it, but I knew I had seen it in a few recipes recently. A big bunch was a $1 so I snapped it [...]

  • [...] Roasted Beet and Arugula Sandwich with Green Olive Tapenade (by Sarah Britton on Whole Living Daily) – this tapenade uses some of my fave ingredients – olives, tarragon and capers! [...]

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  • [...] Meatless Monday: Roasted Beet and Arugula Sandwich with Green Olive Tapenade [...]

  • [...] Dinner was a Roasted Beet and Arugula Sandwich with Black Olive Tapenade (recipe can be found here, it actually used a homemade green olive tapenade, which I didn’t have the resources to make, [...]

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