July 29 2009, 7:21 AM
Summertime means impromptu happy hours on the deck, which demands that the fridge be stocked with cold beer and chilled wine, and the pantry with ready-to-go appetizers. Enter the Evergreen-made Olive Harvest tapenades, which render appetizers as easy as popping the top and grabbing some crackers. The blends, originally inspired by the muffuletta sandwich spread, are not your usual olive puree. The condiment comes in three flavors---original, sun-dried tomato, and jalapeÃ±o---and every bite is chock-full of veggies like carrots, cauliflower, and onion. (One co-worker ate a half-jar of the sun-dried tomato in one sitting.) Pair with crackers and cheese, such as a full-bodied Piave or a creamy goat like Cana de Cabra from The Truffle. On a more informal note, the versatile tapenades go with everything from Goldfish crackers to scrambled eggs to hummus. Find these goodies at Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage, Sunflower Market, and most King Soopers stores.