MANZANILLA OLIVES TAPENADE BY FRANCO RUIZ
- 1 Seeded Cracker
- 1 tbs Manzanilla Tapenade
- 1 tbs Dehydrated Tomatoes
- 2 tbs Fruition Farms Feta (or any sheep’s milk feta available)
- 4 Thin slices of Manzanilla Olives
- 4 Thyme Leafs
- 4 Oregano Leafs
- 4 Chive Sticks
- ½ inch long
- 2 Edible Flowers
FOR SEEDED CRACKER
- 250g AP Flour
- 10g Salt
- 50g Seed Mix (poppy, sesame, caraway, coriander, fennel)
- 1 Egg
- 55g EVOO
- 85g Milk
FOR MANZANILLA TAPENADE
- 170g Manzanilla olives
- 1 Anchovy Fillet
- 1 tsp Garlic
- 1 tbs Capers
- 1 tbs Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Lemon zest
- 1 tbs EVOO
FOR DEHYDRATED TOMATOES
- 10 Roma Tomatoes (Peeled and seeded)
- 40 Slices Garlic
- 40 Thyme Sprigs
- 10 bay leafs (quartered)
- Olive oil
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
For Seeded Cracker
Add dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Whisk together egg, EVOO, and milk.
Add wet to dry in thirds, with a paddle attachment. Once dough comes together knead and rest for 1 hour in cooler.
Pre heat oven to 325 F. line 2 full sheet pans with silpats.
Roll out crackers on pasta machine to number 2. Lay out on prepared sheet pans and bake until golden brown.
For Manzanilla Tapenade
Add dry ingredients in a robot coupe. Pulse to desired consistency. Adjust citrus and seasoning as needed.
For Dehydrated Tomatoes
Toss tomatoes in enough olive oil to coat them. Season to taste with spices.
Lay on a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Place one of each garlic, thyme, and bay leaf on top of each tomato. Cook at 250 Fahrenheit until tomatoes begin to shrivel.
Separate tapenade into two small quenelles. Place evenly spaced between the seeded crackers.
Place ricotta on the open spaces. Top ricotta with dehydrated tomatoes.
Place garnishes on top on at a time starting with thin slices of Manzanilla olives.
CHEF FRANCO RUIZ
His passion for cooking started when he was a kid growing up in Southern California. “My dad was a chef in San Diego, and I started cooking with him in his kitchen at 13,” he said. “It was a big inspiration for me.”
At age 17, Ruiz entered the San Diego Culinary Institute. After graduating, he went to work in Spain at such Michelin-starred restaurants as Ni Neu in San Sebastian, which focuses on contemporary Basque cuisine. He left Spain and came to Denver to help a friend open Hops & Pie in the Berkeley neighborhood. He’d planned to return to California but got hooked by Denver’s culinary boom. He began staging at restaurants around town. At Fruition, he prepared a four-course tasting for chef-owner Alex Seidel, who immediately hired him as sous chef. Since then, he’s won two local culinary competitions, including the People’s Choice award for best food and wine pairing at the Denver International Wine Festival, put on by the Wine Country Network.