A wonderful condiment to have on hand, perfect with the roast lamb, this relish can also enhance grilled fish or roast chicken, or liven up a sandwich or a pizza. Well covered, it will keep for a week in the refrigerator.
Serve with a roast lamb shoulder and tender flageolet beans for an easy spring dinner party meal.
Put the olives, capers, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, anchovies, if using, and ½ cup olive oil in a blender or food processor and grind to a paste. Make the texture of the relish to your preference — rough or smooth. Pulsing the ingredients makes it rough; for a smoother texture, let the machine run for a few minutes. (For a more rustic version, hand-chop the ingredients.)
Scrape the olive relish into a small bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding pepper — or a little cayenne or red pepper flakes — as desired and salt if necessary. Thin with a little more olive oil to loosen the paste.