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Recipe request: Three-bean Chipotle chili

Artichoke tapenade, a popular salad topping or wrap stuffing at The Wolf restaurant, is photographed on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013. The Wolf is located at 15480 Clayton Rd. in Ballwin. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

Q • When I order the veggie wrap at the Wolf in Ballwin, it takes a few bites to figure out what makes it so good: the artichoke tapenade! — René Waterhouse Sackett, Ellisville

A • “We like being a local place,” says Denise Biribin, co-owner of the Wolf, the coffeehouse, café and community gathering spot on Clayton Road at Kehrs Mill in Ballwin. “Out this way, there are so many chains. We want the Wolf to be comfortable for everyone.”

Biribin says that she and her husband and business partner, Bob, serve almost all homemade food: all the soups, the salad dressings, the sauces, cookies and bars and even the Wolf’s famous Black Bean Burger, a recipe that took many months to perfect. “We care where our food comes from, how it’s made, how it’s served,” she says. Chalkboard specials are posted at the counter.

The Wolf’s recipe for Artichoke Tapenade started off as an olive tapenade. “But people just love artichoke hearts,” Biribin says. “And the artichokes balance the olives’ natural saltiness.” It shows up often on the Wolf’s menu: in a wrap, with a hummus platter and with a Mediterranean salad.

The Wolf’s Artichoke Tapenade is easy to make at home and keeps for a week or more in the fridge. Biribin recommends, “Keep it a little chunky, just a few pulses in the food processor, really.”

The Wolf

15480 Clayton Road, Ballwin

636-527-7027; thewolfstl.com

Special Request is written by Kirkwood resident Alanna Kellogg, author of the online recipe column KitchenParade.com and “veggie evangelist” at the food blog about vegetables, A Veggie Venture.