Ask local chef and caterer Kim Klopstock about how she created her “SoLively” olive tapenade that she sells year-round at Saratoga Farmers’ Market, and she’ll whisk you more than a thousand miles away to the Caribbean with her story.
While on a provisioning stop during a tropical sailing adventure many years ago, she turned up a welcome jar of flavorful, olive-based spread. The taste was so memorable that it inspired her to re-create it when she returned to upstate New York.
“Once I made the tapenade, adding my own blend of spices and a few other things, I started serving it at catered events. People kept asking when I was going to market it so they could enjoy it at home,” says Klopstock.
“So I started down that path of product development, not knowing very much about the intricacies of bringing a food product to market.”
Fast forward several years, and SoLively Tapenade is now a flagship product not only at the market and with her catering business (The Lily and the Rose), but also at her restaurant, Fifty South in Ballston Spa.
The tapenade is usually available for tasting at the market, with its chunks of olives, garlic, and roasted peppers complemented with a special seasoning blend of vinegar and spices. It is playfully served from a martini glass, bringing the product’s colorful branding to life.
Also at SoLively’s table at the market are hand-made potato chips, which Klopstock’s kitchen crew carefully crafts from locally farmed potatoes.
“The key to our chips is using great potatoes and changing the oil regularly, so it’s really clean.”
Klopstock speaks with passion about the local food scene, and is known for supporting local farms and businesses as much as possible. In the SoLively Tapenade, both the garlic and red peppers are from area farms whenever they are available.
For those who prefer sweet treats to savory items, the SoLively table also features rich chocolate brownies, including a gluten-free version that is very popular for those with allergies to wheat.
“As much as possible, I try to provide food that is all-natural, organic, and safe, so that means offering options for people with food allergies,” comments Klopstock.
SoLively has taken off since its launch several years ago, and become so popular that a few clients outside the local area ask to have it shipped to their homes by the gallon. And, while many tapenade recipes contain anchovies, SoLively does not, so it is suitable for serving to vegetarians and vegans as well as to omnivores.
For a taste of this special tapenade atop hand-made potato chips, visit SoLively Tapenade on the second floor of the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, in the back room.
15 Favorite Uses for SoLively Tapenade
With a jar of SoLIvely in your pantry, you can add flavorful zip to so many common meals. Here are some of the creative possibilities:
- Serve with crackers or potato chips
- Fill an omelet or garnish scrambled eggs
- Dollop on baked potato
- Saute with shiitake mushrooms and serve over pasta
- Schmear on bagel or toast
- Rub on lamb or pork before roasting
- Stuff into chicken breast or fish
- Mix with cream cheese for appetizer spread
- Add to grilled cheese sandwich
- Stir into cooked white beans for a savory side dish
- Spread in sandwich wraps
- Mix with breadcrumbs for stuffed mushrooms
- Blend into ground beef for burgers on the grill
- Add to egg salad
- Use as topping for a pizza