Make this easy Olive Tapenade for your next party spread, sandwich, or pizza garnish! It comes together in minutes and has endless possibilities.
Happiness can be found in bowls of tapenade.
At this exact moment, I cannot decide whether I would rather have it on crostini, garnishing a soup, or slathered on a sandwich.
Or maybe as a dip for fries? Or for vegetables?
Be sure to choose mild olives that have been cured in brine. I love Kalamata and Lucques olives but picholines and Niçoise olives are also great choices. Use one kind or a combination of a few of your favorites.
Haven’t you always wanted to sample all kinds of different olives at your grocery store’s olive bar? Now is your chance!
Capers have different packaging methods; you can buy them brine-packed or salt-packed. The salt-packed ones have a more mild (and I think preferable) flavor although I like both. If you forget to rinse them, however, the flavor can be overpowering at times.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Anchovies, yuck!” Well, maybe not, but that’s what I was thinking for the longest time.
I now recognize that anchovies add a fantastic savory, umami flavor to dishes. After all, I love Worcestershire sauce and Caesar salad dressing and who knows what else.
Yet, despite a childhood of eating tinned sardines, I still struggle to actually buy and handle anchovies. HOWEVER. I recently stumbled upon anchovy paste which I think is the perfect compromise: Enjoy the flavor, get used to the mental aspect of them, without having to touch them. (Just like tomato paste in a tube, it keeps indefinitely in the refrigerator).
Homemade Olive Tapenade Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups pitted, brine-cured olives
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste or 2 anchovy filets, minced
- 3 tablespoons capers rinsed
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley
- 3 cloves garlic roasted if desired (see notes)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from 2 lemons
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- In a food processor, combine olives, anchovies, capers, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Pulse 2 to 3 times until coarsely chopped.
- Drizzle in olive oil and pulse a few more times until a chunky paste forms, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve at room temperature.
- To roast the garlic, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the top off a bulb of garlic so the cloves are exposed. Set the bulb on a piece of foil large enough to wrap the bulb. Top the exposed cloves with olive oil and wrap the bulb tightly in foil. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until a knife slides easily in to the middle of the bulb.