Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Olive Tapenade

I love easy appetizer recipes that can be thrown together with little time and effort that guests will enjoy.  Often times my husband and I commit to plans at the last minute.  With that comes last minute planning that I used to panic over.  The usual questions would arise- what should I make, what do I have on hand, how much time do I have??  I used to feel unprepared for occasions like this, but now with appetizer recipes like this one- entertaining has become so much easier!

Olive tapenade is easy to whip up because it requires most pantry staple items.  Those few items that aren't pantry staples have a late expiration date and are great to keep stored in your refrigerator to have conveniently available whenever you need to throw a tapenade together.  With a few ingredients and a simple pulse of your food chopper, you can have an easy and delicious appetizer for your guests to munch on.

Not only is it easy and convenient, but it can also be used in many variations, making it extremely versatile and fun to play around with!  My friend Missy loves to use marinated olives with chili peppers for some added heat.  It's also great dressed up with some sliced pimentos on the top for a garnish or spooned over a cracker spread with goat cheese.  The possibilities are endless!  How do you like your olive tapenade?

Recipe Tip:
  • Make sure not to chop until a puree consistency- should be slightly chunky.
  • Liquids may separate so stir before serving if you're using it as a dip.

Start by roughly chopping your kalamata olives and adding them to your food chopper or food processor.  Then add your anchovy paste, capers, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, and fresh ground pepper:

Pulse your food processor a few times until your ingredients are blended and your olives are roughly chopped.  Then add your olive oil:

Continue to pulse your food chopper or food processor, scraping the sides once or twice, until you have a slightly chunky, pasty consistency:

Serve over toasted baguette slices as a crostini or with crackers and a sprinkling of parsley:

Olive Tapenade
Makes: 1 1/2 cups 
Prep/Cook Time: 15 minutes
I can't remember where I found this recipe... If this is your recipe, please tell me so I can give credit where it's due.  Thank you!

1 1/2 cups pitted kalamata olives
1/4 teaspoon anchovy paste or 3 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Begin by roughly chopping your kalamata olives.  Then combine your olives, anchovy paste, capers, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, and ground pepper in your food chopper or food processor.  Pulse a couple of times until your ingredients are blended and roughly chopped.  Then add your olive oil and continue to pulse, scraping your sides once or twice, until you have a slightly chunky, pasty consistency.  Make sure not to pulse until you reach a puree consistency otherwise your tapenade will be too wet and runny.


  1. Great recipe! You're right, having some easy go to recipes is key to entertaining. I'll be adding this one to my list!

  2. Looove olive tapenade. I have another one for you the next time you're dipping: Fig & Olive Tapenade with Sun-Dried Tomatoes. It's my all-time fave:

  3. Sign me up! I'll definitely be trying that next time. What a great tapenade idea!

  4. I love olive tapenade but never thought to make it myself. How long does it last in the fridge?

  5. I would imagine if you keep it in a well sealed tupperware container it will last at least one week. To be honest, it doesn't usually last in the refrigerator long without getting eaten so I don't know for sure.