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Cross a Tiny Bagel with a Pretzel for an Addictive Italian Snack

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As Food52 gets older (and wiser), and our archive of recipes grows, we’re making the effort to revisit some gold recipes from our community. Today's addictive little snack comes from longtime Food52er hardlikearmour.


When was the last time you were truly surprised and delighted by a snack? That's what happened to hardlikearmour after she made taralli (an Italian snack that she compares to a cross between a tiny bagel and a pretzel) for the first time using Cynthia Nims' recipe from Salty Snacks. Hardlikearmour explains why she fell for them (and how she then made them her own):

The recipe in the book calls for only four ingredients, yet produces a crunchy, flaky, and unexpectedly flavorful snack. The simplicity of the ingredients is like a blank canvas—it begs for add-ins. I decided to add some chopped oil-cured olives, Dijon mustard, thyme, and a little pepper to my batch. The result was a taralli with a flavor reminiscent of tapenade.

Photo by Ty Mecham

After making the recipe, Food52er PRST declared, "I’ve been making taralli for years and this recipe is a keeper," adding:

Hardlikearmour’s clever addition of olives to taralli is perfectly appropriate considering they originated in Puglia, Italy, a place literally overrun with olive groves. I doubt that any Italian would even raise an eyebrow to this French interpretation of tapenade, because these crispy gems are just so delicious.

Ready to make a batch for yourself? PRST encourages us all, saying: "The dough comes together fast and the rolling and forming is fun. Don’t let the boiling part turn you away: it goes quickly and the directions are right on." And, since odds are you're bound to be delighted by these crunchy little bites, too, know that hardlikearmour says you can easily double the recipe (yet still bake them all at the same time!).

Tapenade Taralli

Tapenade Taralli

hardlikearmour hardlikearmour
Makes 32
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or flaky sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or lemon thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped oil-cured black olives
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Tags: Heirloom Recipes, Community Picks