Recently I've been extremely experimental in the kitchen. I'll look up a recipe, figure out (loosely) what ingredients I need then take it from there on my own. Usually I have good results, but not always. But that's experimentation, right? After a day trip to Georgetown, DC, I was set on recreating the delicious tapenade that Paolo's Ristorante served us when we sat down. Our waitress had told me it was a tapenade of chickpeas, olives, garlic, roasted eggplant and red pepper, olive oil, and lemon. So naturally I thought, "I can do that!"
What I made was definitely not the same as Paolo's. Maybe because I didn't have roasted eggplant or because I really didn't have much idea of how to make tapenade. I put roasted red pepper, kalamata olives, canned chickpeas, garlic, lemon, and olive oil together in a food processor and hoped for the best. When the consistency wasn't completely right I added a bit of chickpea juice (from the can) that I had reserved and some salt & pepper. I don't know if I made tapenade, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The consistency wasn't quite smooth enough to really eat with carrot sticks (above), but would be great on small pieces of rye bread.
Might have been a wee bit bootleg, but I'm still all about experimenting.