I love olives, and so I love tapenades. Tapenades have such a distinct flavor. They’re also very simple to make, simple as in, throw it all in the food processor and press start.
The key to a good olive tapenade is the olives. Don’t buy cans of black olives or jars of green olives if you can avoid it. Instead go to a cheese & wine shop, or to an olive bar at the grocery store, and pick out a delightful mixture of pitted olives for this. I chose pitted kalamatas, pitted green olives stuffed with garlic, and a number of other ones. 1/2lb (equivalent to 8oz) of olives cost me about $5.00.
You can serve a tapenade in so many ways. Just yesterday we had family over and I spread goat cheese on a cracker, topped with a dollop of tapenade, and sprinkled on almonds. Today I did this:
Yes, that is a mini slice of fresh mozzarella on there. A tip for cutting mozzarella, big or small – use your egg slicer.
Enjoy your fresh olive tapenade!
- 1/2 pound pitted mixed olives (not jar or canned, buy at olive bar/speciality shop)
- 2 anchovy fillets, rinsed
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 3 fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.
- Process to combine until the mixture becomes a coarse paste, approximately 1 to 2 minutes total. Use as desired!
- If your olives come drenched in oil, you will probably not need to add the full 2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil. Add 1 Tbsp to start, see if it is a good consistency, and add more if you need. Thicker tapenade is good for dalloping (less olive oil), and thinner tapenade is good for spreading (more olive oil).
- Careful with amendments and substitutions for this type of recipe. For example: if you decide not to use anchovies because you don't like them, then you substitute light olive oil for the extra-virgin, and decide upon bottled lemon juice instead of fresh, well, you've just threatened the integrity of the recipe. Not intending to to be harsh! But you can see how a number of subtle changes to a recipe can alter it with negative results.