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Olive Tapenade

So- after weeks of tormenting my dear friend with talk of tapenade it was time to actually make some. But, as usual, I was disorganized and doing too many things at once. And was running late for the first Zoom group patio drinks in eight months. Luckily tapenade can be made in a matter of minutes. It's incredibly flexible, highly adjustable, and unendingly unforgiving. This is a very loose recipe- use whatever herbs you have on hand, go wild with the garlic, and enjoy on a charcuterie plate. Or maybe use as a crust on seafood or a roast. Or on top of bison burgers with a little chevre. This also makes a great filling for barbecued or stuffed mushrooms.

But in the rush I forget to grab a photo. So here's a photo of an olive tree-


  • Olives

I use a tin of basic black olives, a jar of stuffed green olives (garlic or pimento), and a few handfuls of "fancy" olives. I prefer Moroccan sun dried olives but any variety you enjoy is perfect.

  • Juice of 1-2 lemons (you could sub a dry white wine for some of the lemon juice)

  • 1/4 cup roasted red peppers or pimento

  • 2-3 TBSP capers

  • 2-3 TBSP coarse or lavender mustard

  • Garlic

I like to use half a raw bulb and half a roasted bulb. I'm not about to tell you how much garlic to use. I trust your intuition.

  • 1 TBSP anchovy paste (this is entirely optional)

  • Fresh herbs

Rosemary & basil are wonderful. I've enjoyed thyme and oregano (especially spicy oregano),a little bit or tarragon can be lovely. Really it's a matter of what else you are serving, what you have on hand, and what you are in the mood for. Start with a couple of TBSPs and adjust as needed. In a pinch dried tarragon and rosemary can be used but I find other dried herbs to be too mild. There's no harm in experimenting.

  • Olive oil as needed

  • Pepper as desired


  • In a food processor blend olives, garlic, anchovy paste if using, lemon juice, pimento, and capers until coarse.

  • Add mustard and herbs. Blend until desired texture.

  • Allow the flavours too mingle until you can't wait anymore.

Tapenade will typically keep in the fridge for at least a week or two- if it lasts that long. The list of things you can use it in is endless. I'm partial to a scoop or two in my scrambled eggs! It's not uncommon for me to make a large batch but divide it before I had the herbs. I prefer tarragon in my eggs, rosemary in my spreads, and basil for sandwiches and bison burgers.

Tapenade is a truly lovely thing. it is ubiquitous and simple. And best shared with friends.

Spread the love.

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