The new spanish tableIn ancient Rome, garum was a pungent allpurpose condiment made from fermented anchovies, not unlike present-day Asian fish sauce. In modern Catalonia, the name refers to a spread similar to the French tapenade made of olives, anchovies, capers, sometimes mashed egg yolks, and either olive oil or softened butter. This recipe, flavored with rum and a touch of mustard, is adapted from one served at the Hotel Ampurdan in Figueres. The hotel is legendary for its robust Catalan cooking and credited with naming this spread garum. Try to find olives that are pungent, but not vinegary and briny. The spread is delicious on toasted baguette rounds or slices of grilled country bread. It also makes a fine accompaniment to grilled meat, chicken, or fish.

  • Yield: 1 CUPS


  • 2 cups pitted black olives, such as niçoise
  • 4 anchovy fillets, chopped and mashed in a mortar or with a fork
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed with a garlic press
  • 1 large hard-cooked egg yolk, mashed with a fork
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum or brandy
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons fragrant extra-virgin olive oil
  • Grilled bread, toast, or breadsticks, for serving
How to Make It
  1. Place the olives, anchovies, capers, garlic, egg yolk, rum, and mustard in a food processor and process in quick pulses to a medium-fine paste, scraping down the side of the bowl once or twice. Gradually add the olive oil, pulsing several times after each addition.
  2. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour so that the flavors develop. Serve with grilled bread, toast, or breadsticks. The spread can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 weeks.

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