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My friend Kelly had heard good things about this bakery called Gjusta, so she and I went for a sunny bike ride around Venice beach yesterday with the plan to stop there on our ride home. This bakery was really cool. So cool in fact, that they didn’t even have a sign or an address number on their plain white building, but it was bustling with patrons nonetheless. In fact, I don’t think they even have a website, bold move Gjusta. After spotting a chef in the back wearing a Gjelina hat, it all made sense. Gjusta and it’s ever-hip Abbot Kinney sister restaurant Gjelina have the same owners. The interior was a long narrow space, the walls were lined with loafs of crusty bread and the cases were full of rustic looking pastries and cakes. It was heavenly. I got some juice and carrot cake, and Kelly got two baguettes and some olive tapenade.

This tapenade was KILLER. It was so good, I had to go straight home and try to recreate it. Which is exactly what I did.

I couldn’t tell if my tapenade was really as amazing as I thought it was, until my harshest critic (a.k.a. my husband) turned down his steak and mashed potato dinner, and ate the entire bowl of tapenade with some spicy crackers instead. Veggie power!

By the way, my friend Kelly has a pretty awesome blog herself, check it out to read about her world traveling adventures!

Herbs and Olives Tapenade

Makes about 1 3/4 cups

1.5 cups mixed black and green pitted Greek olives (not from a can!)

2 fat garlic cloves, minced

1 tbs fresh chopped parsley

2 tsp fresh chopped thyme

1/4 cup first cold pressed olive oil

a few grinds of black pepper

1 tbs capers

Mince the olives, the finer the better, but not into liquified mush. Add the other ingredients and toss to combine. Serve with some sliced baguette or crackers. Tapenade also makes a lovely condiment for sandwiches.

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