Black Olive Tapenade

Black Olive Tapenade

Olive tapenade is delicious, easy to make and can be used as a dip, sandwich spread or topping for fish and poultry. This black olive tapenade is packed with classic Mediterranean ingredients like lemon zest, capers, aromatic herbs, and rich extra-virgin olive oil.

Italy’s beautiful countryside is an inspiration for food lovers. I, for one, am constantly inspired by the vast array of herbs and fruit trees that surround me. The other day I was playing outside with the kids where the olive trees line the entrance to our property. My son loves olives and so he attempted to pick some from the olive tree to eat them right then and there, as he always does with fresh figs. Watching him jumping in delight trying to grab a few olives made me stop and think about how much I too love olives. For lunch I prepared this rich black olive tapenade appetizer, served with some fresh Italian crusty bread, and as you can imagine both my son and I (and the rest of the family) devoured it.

Fresh homemade olive tapenade makes a perfect dinner party appetizer and comes together in minutes. It’s traditionally served with bread, crostini, or crackers, but speaking from experience, it makes for a fantastic flavour addition to many meals. Serve it as a dip, a spread for sandwiches or a condiment for fish and poultry. I even add this olive spread to baked potatoes, eggs, and pasta dishes. 

There are many different variations of tapenades, since you can make them with just about any type of olive and herb or spice. Many recipes also call for lemon zest and anchovies, however, if you omit them, the tapenade will still be bright and flavourful. Although black olive tapenade is my all-time favourite, green olive tapenade is just as delicious. My suggestion is to play with the recipe and ingredient ratios until you acquire that perfect balance to suit your tastes. Start with the base ingredients then add more ingredients, depending on your flavour preferences. On that note, I’m assuming that many people will omit the anchovies-simply because most people don’t care for their texture or pungent, fishy flavour. However, you must take my word that they blend perfectly in the tapenade and add a rich, briny flavour. Most importantly, be sure to use fresh, quality ingredients, as they will make or break this recipe. Choose fresh olives and herbs, and a good quality extra-virgin olive oil. Look for one with a deep green hue and thick consistency. No imposters allowed!

You can even prepare this tangy spread way ahead of time, since it will last for up to 3 weeks in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer. Make a batch to keep in the fridge for enhancing your meals throughout the week. To maintain freshness, cover the tapenade with a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil and store in an airtight container.

Black Olive Tapenade

If you try this recipe (and love it!) be sure to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram with #bitesforfoodies so I can see your creation!

Black Olive Tapenade

2017-01-13
: About 1 cup
: 5 min

Olive tapenade is delicious, easy to make and can be used as a dip, sandwich spread or topping for fish and poultry. This black olive tapenade is packed with classic Mediterranean ingredients like lemon zest, capers, aromatic herbs, and rich extra-virgin olive oil. Italy’s beautiful countryside is an inspiration for food lovers. I, for one, …

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Black Olive Tapenade
5
5
1
19
Ingredients
    1 cup dry-cured black olives (or kalamata olives)
  • 1 tbs. capers, rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano or Herbs de Provence
  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil (or more depending on desired consistency)
  • 1-2 anchovies, packed in oil and rinsed (optional)
  • zest of 1/2 lemon (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
Directions

Remove the pits from the olives and discard. Combine all of the ingredients in a small food processor and blend on high until combined. If the food processor has a spout, slowly drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to blend the tapenade. If not, add a 1/4 cup of oil, cover with the lid and blend. Add the remaining amount of olive oil a few tablespoons at a time (blending every time) until you get the desired consistency. The tapenade should be uniform in texture so ensure that there are no unprocessed pieces of olives, garlic or anchovies before serving.

19 thoughts on “Black Olive Tapenade”

  • I’ve never tried olive tapenade before. It looks absolutely delicious though, and I know my mom and the kids will like it. I love trying new recipes so I’ll definitely have to make this over the weekend.

  • Gwen Mulholland 3 years ago

    I love a good olive tapenade and usually make one with black and green olives. I love having it on a nice crusty bread. I made some this week and we enjoyed it for two days. It never lasts long in my house.

  • ♥Nancy♥ 3 years ago

    I love black olives and can’t believe I never tried to make a tapenade. Now that I’ve seen your wonderful recipe, I will certainly give it a try! I’ve even got some fresh basil outside! I love how you spread the tapenade over crusty bread, too! Mmmm delicious! 🙂

  • My daughter and I usually eat a can of sliced black olives in one setting. Sometimes, we don’t even leave enough for it’s original purpose as a topping on a pizza. I have never heard of olive tapenade, but look forward to trying it.

  • Can you believe that I have never had tapenade? I am all about making my own food from scratch, so this would be a new one to try. We have olives actually in our pantry. I will need ideas as to what to use this with!

  • Pier Nirandara 3 years ago

    Wow, this is such a great and unique recipe! I’d never heard of it before, and definitely learnt a lot about the ingredients in such ways I wouldn’t have normally. Definitely dying to try out this recipe soon!

  • It’s great you make it fresh. We don’t eat olives around here, but funnily enough LOVE olive oil LOL. I’ll pass this on to my co-worker. He eats black olives all the time. I am sure he’d love this recipe!

  • Melissa Dixon 3 years ago

    I have always loved olives and recently started trying black olives. It turns out I love them too! I have never had tapenade before but I would love to try it out with my new favorite black olives. Thanks for sharing the recipe, I will have to make it really soon!

  • Kristy 3 years ago

    I am the one of the only ones in my family that likes olives, which means I rarely eat them. This Olive Tapenade sounds so good! I guess that when I make it, it’s all mine! That might just be a good thing!

  • Censie ‘Mumby’ Sawyer 3 years ago

    I have never really cooked with Olives either. Mostly they are just relishes for us. I think i need to try this recipe some time. The flavors sound so good. And looks pretty easy to make too!!!

  • As much as I love black olives, I have never tried cooking with them or using them in a recipe. his sounds really different. I’ll have to give it a try the next time I host a get together. Sounds like it will be a big hit.

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