Puttanesca Relish

My mother gave me this lovely book simply called Charcuterie, published in 2014. “How to enjoy, serve and cook with cured meats.”

For the blog I’ve already made an eye catching and incredibly tasting salad – chorizo and red cabbage.

This little book is full of surprisingly unique recipes using charcuterie, making charcuterie, or for charcuterie.

Case in point, puttanesca relish caught my attention. Being that pasta puttanesca is my favorite pasta dish, I could easily imagine all of the puttanesca flavors together, served as a relish.

From the book, “This relish is quite like tapenade, but it’s lighter and not as rich. It can be used to add to sandwiches and recipes, but it’s also lovely served with a charcuterie board and spooned onto the meats.”

I couldn’t wait to make it. It’s as easy as making a tapenade, because you can use your food processor.

Puttanesca Relish
Slightly adapted

2 ounces pitted Kalamata olives
2 anchovy fillets, drained
2 teaspoons capers, drained
Big pinch of fresh chopped parsley
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons olive oil
7 ounces canned San Marzano tomatoes, seeded, drained
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sprinkle of cayenne pepper flakes

Place the first six ingredients into a food processor and whizz until the pieces are nice and small and the texture is relatively smooth.

Add remaining ingredients. Leave some small chunks, don’t let it become a purée.

Transfer the mixture to a small sterilized jar or an airtight container and cover, if not using immediately.

I served the relish with soft bread, Parmesan, and soprasetta. It is outstanding.

This relish will keep for a week in the refrigerator, and is suitable for freezing.

If you freeze it, make sure to test the relish. It might need a boost in flavor.

I will definitely be making this again and again.

I used a new product for this recipe – capers in olive oil. Excellent.

49 thoughts on “Puttanesca Relish

    • Exactly! It’s got all of the wonderful puttanesca elements in it, and works like bruschetta. Amazing.

  • Bitte bitte auch alle deine großartigen Rezepte mit Gramm Angaben einstellen, Ich würde mich riesig darüber freuen!
    Viele Grüße sendet,
    Jesse-Gabriel aus Berlin

  • What a fun idea! Love pasta puttanesca, and never ever thought of use the sauce flavorings in a relish. I will, though! :-)

  • This is definitely on my list of good things to make. I was a bit stumped at the San Marzano tomatoes but after an Internet troll I now know the answer.
    I have always made Tapenade and this is a lovely extension of that.
    Thanks Mimi – you are the best!! :))

  • This looks pretty wonderful, Mimi! The book, as well… These are some of my favorite flavors, as well. I use them last night as a topping for salmon, and you’ll be seeing that soon on the blog. (Well, maybe in the fall… With all this extra time on my hands I’ve gotten way ahead of myself and posted all the way through August!)

    • Hahahaha! I didn’t do much when the pandemic started because in anticipation of a march surgery, I’d scheduled posts though June. Then surgery date changed, but i had very little to cook for the spring months. And now i can’t do anything at all with a cast on my hand. The salmon dish sounds wonderful!

  • A great looking relish or perhaps for use in a cold pasta salad. Totally full of yummy ingredients. You’ve got me interested in this book. I think I’ve found it here but the covers different. Is the ISB number 9781788790376 ?
    Thanks for sharing this with us and stay well over there.

    • No. Same author, but even though it sounds exactly like the same book, published in different years. ISBN: 978-1-84975-567-2

      • Thanks Mimi. Interesting, when I search your ISB it tells me they don’t have it but show me the one I found and two other books by her. I’ll email the publisher and see if they are the same.

  • I’m definitely trying this. Pasta Puttanesca is one of my favorites, too, so I’m totally drawn to this. Fun for a party. (Hopefully we’ll have one of those again one day!) :-) ~Valentina

    • I do miss a good party! I’m really lucky to have some great girlfriends, and we all love the husbands too!

    • I once did a combination of bruschetta and tapenade and called it tapeschetta (brilliant, right?!!) and that was fun, but this is really so much like enjoying puttanesca, just without the pasta! I was bone on bone at the base of my thumb and had surgery on it.

  • This sound fabulous. I’m a big puttanesca fan like you but never thought to make a relish out of the ingredients. Sounds like tapenade on steroids.. or just a cousin anyway. I’d enjoy it very much on toast with a nice cocktail to get the evening started off right. :-)

  • What a lovely book gifted by your mother! The ingredients of the relish, all commingled, couldn’t be more delightful and screams versatility. Gauging by the reader comments, clearly this is true. Bookmarked for a sooner than later turn in the kitchen. Cheers!

  • Since your Puttanesca sauce was FABULOUS, Chef Mimi, I can only imagine that a relish from the same derivation (and your “eye” for flavor) would be, too. What a great idea! Wish I’d seen it before I made my recent charctuterie platter (on FB), but good things come to those who wait — including those recovering from surgery.

    Sorry to learn you’ve been ailing, but glad you were able to have it corrected. I’ve suffered from an inoperable “numb thumb & forefinger” on my left hand ever since a boating mishap two years ago and it’s been the bane of my existence — in the kitchen and at the piano — never mind almost cutting my right index finger off when our back door slammed shut SUDDENLY during the recent high winds. (Such fun.) We do the best we can with what we have — or whatever digiits we have left! Happy cooking and a speedy recovery, xo!.

    • Oh goodness. Thumbs are so important, as you know. it’s a crazy surgery with a sucky recovery, but I’m excited to have my thumb working again. Then, my left hand. I didn’t know you’re on FB! I’ll look you up!

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