Traditional recipes

Black olive and anchovy tapenade recipe

Black olive and anchovy tapenade recipe

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  • Dish type
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  • Seafood starters
  • Fish starters

Easy recipe to make but do not forget to soak the anchovies for 5 hours. sadly it was so salty we could not eat it!

5 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 12 anchovy fillets
  • 200g pitted black olives
  • 4 tablespoons capers
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 150ml olive oil
  • black pepper to taste

MethodPrep:20min ›Extra time:5hr soaking › Ready in:5hr20min

  1. Soak the anchovies in cold water for 5 hours. Remove and dry them with kitchen paper.
  2. Place the anchovies, garlic, capers, olives, oil and pepper in a blender. Blitz in short bursts, taking care to not mix for too long as it is better to have small chunks of olives in the tapenade.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(3)

Reviews in English (1)

Better than any I have had in any restaurant! Absolutely beautiful! I did not use blender and chopped all ingredients small with large knife it takes a while but I prefer a slightly chunkier texture.-06 Apr 2018

Recipe Summary

  • 3/4 cup pitted oil-cured black olives
  • 3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 6 small dried figs, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 2 small garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 cup packed mint leaves
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Bagel chips, for serving

In a food processor, pulse the olives, figs, capers, garlic, mint, anchovies and olive oil until the tapenade is thick and somewhat chunky. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the tapenade to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until chilled. Serve with bagel chips.

What is a Tapenade?

To pair with the wine, we made a traditional Languedoc style olive tapenade. Although tapenade originates from Langudoc&rsquos neighboring region, Provence, it has become one of the specialties of the Languedoc region.

The name tapenade comes from the Provençal word tapèno meaning caper. You may also find it referred to as olive paste, since traditional versions are a fine, spreadable paste. We prefer our tapenades to have a thicker, chunkier texture, but you can make your tapenade to whatever texture you prefer by altering the processing time and the amount of oil.

Black olive tapenade with anchovy | Easy appetizer recipe

If you are looking for an easy appetizer recipe, this is it! Black olives blended with just enough anchovy to make a delicious tapenade. It’s delicious and not fishy at all. I like to think of it as an alternative to caviar. Serve it mounded on top of toasted bread slices, or in a dish along along with warm French bread. It only takes minutes to prepare. What I love about this black olive tapenade is how mild it is. I can eat it all day, unlike many tapenades that are super salty and olive-y.

I originally had this tapenade when I lived in Salem, Massachusetts. There is a cozy little Italian restaurant there and they serve this black olive tapenade with crusty bread. Every time I went, we would practically lick the dish clean, the tapenade was so good. I finally asked them what was it it and they told me it contained anchovies! I had no idea. I think another reason I like it so much is because it is made with canned black olives. They are very mild, making this a tapenade that isn’t overpowering. The addition of a small garlic clove and lots of good extra virgin olive oil round out the flavors perfectly.

This will be the last recipe I’ll be squeezing in before Thanksgiving. We will be busy visiting family for the rest of the week. I wish everyone a wonderful holiday with their friends and family!

Easy Appetizer Recipe| Black olive & anchovy tapenade

  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 can black olives (regular olives, pitted)
  • 1-2 anchovies (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper
  • squeeze lemon juice (optional)

Add the garlic clove to a food processor and pulse until it is finely chopped. Add olives, anchovy, and the olive oil. Pulse until combined. Add the pepper and lemon juice (if using) oil and process until smooth, but not a paste.

Tapenade: how and when to use it

This deceptively simple olive and caper paste relies on top quality ingredients for its signature hit of deep, savoury flavour. We take a look at the history behind this Provençal classic and find out what makes a really good tapenade.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

When we think of tapenade, it’s hard not to think of crusty baguettes, stubby beers in the sun and holidays in the French Riviera. Visit the south of France and you’ll find tapenade available practically everywhere, either from little tubs in mini markets, stuffed inside roast chicken, spread over the aforementioned crusty baguette or surrounded by fresh crudités.

This black olive paste is synonymous with Provençal cuisine. The name itself actually comes from the Provençal word for capers (tapenas), another crucial element of the simple spread. At its core, tapenade simply combines these two ingredients with some olive oil to make a paste, although you’ll often find other ingredients added – garlic is a common addition (we’re still in France remember), as are sun-dried tomatoes, tuna, anchovy, brandy and herbs like parsley and thyme.

Though tapenade is as Provençal as pastis and boules, it probably doesn’t originate on the French Riviera. We already know that olives were a vital staple in ancient times – the Romans and Greeks virtually lived off olives and olive oil and even before then the Phoenicians were busy planting olive groves in distant parts of the Adriatic. There are multiple accounts of olive pastes in Roman cookbooks dating back to the first century AD, often made with anchovies and vinegar. Even today, olive paste remains an extremely common snack in Greece and Italy – in Crete, the locals mix black kalamata olives with spices, herbs and thyme honey to make a similar spread.

Black olive tapenade recipe

Tapenade takes its name from the Provençal word for capers, 'tapeno'. The most traditional tapenade is made with black olives.


  • 150 g black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 75 ml olive oil
  • 5.3 oz black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2.6 fl oz olive oil
  • 5.3 oz black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 0.3 cup olive oil


  • Cuisine: French
  • Recipe Type: Snack
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 5 mins
  • Cooking Time: 0 mins
  • Serves: 6


  1. Place the olives, garlic, capers, lemon juice, and zest in a mortar or the small bowl of a food processor. Add 1 tablespoon oil and pound or whizz, gradually adding more oil until you have a thick paste.
  2. Taste, season with pepper, and serve immediately. Tapenade can be refrigerated, covered with cling film, for up to 4 days.

Recipe taken from Mediterranean Cookbook, by Marie-Pierre Moine, published by DK, £20,

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Olive Tapenade + 10 Ways to Use It

It’s no secret I love olives. The evidence of my addiction is scattered all over this blog you’ve seen recipes for salmon tartare with olives and avocado, olive and endive tiella, pork shoulder braised with olives and blood oranges, among others.

What you haven’t seen are the countless deli containers of olives I’ve munched from while standing in the kitchen, waiting for a risotto to come together or a chicken to roast. Out of control. And you haven’t seen the batches of tapenade I’ve made and smeared on sandwiches and pizza, stirred into pasta, and dolloped onto pots of steamed mussels.

Today’s the day though. Olives will take center-stage and we’ll put together a batch of tapenade. Soon you, too, will be garnishing your life with black olives and loving every moment of it.

Olive tapenade is hardly something you need a recipe for, it’s just a thick paste of black olives with garlic, anchovies, and herbs. I use oil-cured black olives, but if you have a hard time finding these (like I sometimes do), any flavorful black olive will do the trick. My version includes a handful of toasted pine nuts to add another layer of flavor, fresh mint, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Just pit the olives, toss them in a food processor or blender with the garlic and anchovies. Pulse until you have a thick, purpley-black paste. Season with lemon juice, mint, and black pepper and stir in olive oil to loosen it up. Done!

Okay, you’ve got your tapenade…now what? You’re not going to eat it with a spoon. Not even I’m that hardcore. Here are 10 ways you can mix olive tapenade into your everyday eating.

Method and texture

Though the tapenade is traditionally made in a pestle and mortar, as Olney recommends, I think you get equally good results using the pulse function on a food processor, though the process is rather less satisfying for your inner peasant.

Henderson does neither, however, preferring to roughly chop her ingredients to make something more akin to an olive salsa than a traditional tapenade, on the grounds: "it's good to have some texture and not just a paste". Her version works well spread on thick toasts, as she suggests, but is less practical as a dip for breadsticks, or for drizzling over salads of ripe, red tomatoes. I'm not sold on Olney's super-fine variety, which is pushed through a sieve after pounding, either a certain rusticity suits tapenade.

Peasant or not, you can afford to be generous with the oil: the soft, fruity flavour rounds out all those savoury notes beautifully, as well as loosening the consistency. Serve with toasted rounds of stale baguette (though British baguettes, unlike their French counterparts, don't obligingly desiccate between lunch and dinner, so you might have to plan ahead), breadsticks or crudités pour les minceurs, and, most importantly, a large, cold drink.

Recipe: Black Olive Tapenade

Tapenade, that good-on-anything spread made mostly of olives, received an overhaul in the Cook's Illustrated kitchens. This one calls for two types of olives, along with other salty Mediterranean flavors like capers and anchovy. This is easy to make, and is great on bread or with vegetables.

Black Olive Tapenade
Makes 1 1/2 cups
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 1/2 cups pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup pitted salt-cured black olives
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed
2 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In food processor fitted with metal blade, process pine nuts until reduced to paste that clings to walls and avoids blade, about 20 seconds. Scrape down bowl to redistribute paste and process until paste again clings to walls and avoids blade, about 5 seconds. Repeat scraping and processing once more (pine nuts should form mostly smooth, tahini-like paste).

Scrape down bowl to redistribute paste and add olives, capers, anchovies, mustard, and garlic. Pulse until finely chopped, about 15 pulses, scraping down bowl halfway through pulsing. Transfer mixture to medium bowl and stir in oil until well combined.

Transfer to container, cover, and refrigerate for at least 18 hours or up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature and stir thoroughly before serving.


Black Olive Tapenade is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. It will take only 5 minutes to make. A simple yet delicious appetizer that always goes fast. It is a classic of French cuisine. Before I knew about this delicious olive tapenade recipe, I had sleepless days researching for the perfect appetizer for my party. I was looking for an easy-to-make sauce which would be together in minutes and allow me ample time with my friends, rather than spend hours in the kitchen. I knew my friends are never modest and I had to get a recipe that would deliver unique taste. This recipe never disappointed and am now ready to share the secrets.

This recipe is my favorite because of three major reasons

Just before I tell more about the preparation and the taste of this sauce, allow me to mention the health benefits you will gain from it. Olive tapenade ranks as one of the healthiest condiments in the world. It’s actually a natural replacement of processed condiments like ketchup and mustard which contains high amounts of sugars. Olives, used as the main ingredients in this recipe are a good source of a number of nutrients. The sauce is rich in iron, fiber, antioxidants, and iodine. Tapenade contains commendable amounts of magnesium, phosphorous, vitamin B and E. when you eat olive tapenade you will be benefiting your bones, muscles, immune system, blood pressure and the overall body energy. Besides, the tapenade contains fatty acids which are essential in managing inflammations in diabetics.

The recipe I prepared had a unique taste which was brought about by the use of clove garlic and lemon juice. The trick is to use freshly squeezed lemon juice and the garlic clove must be freshly prepared, this gives the sauce extra flavor. You will also feel the natural bitterness of the olive tapenade, which is brought about by the use of the mixed olives. Depending on your preference, you can season the tapenade to bring out other flavors. I seasoned mine using basil and the results were awesome. To bring extra depth to the olive tapenade I made good use of the anchovy. Personally, I am not a fan of this ingredient in other dishes but the story is different when it comes to the tapenade. Anchovy together with the capers is just amazing in the way they add flavors to this appetizer .

What amazed me most is the simplicity of this recipe. You do not have to spend all your time in the kitchen for the olive tapenade to be delicious. The recipe is very simple. Anyone can follow it, actually, it is a one-step recipe, and the second step is serving. Mine was ready in less than ten minutes, but there is a trick in the processing. The level of thickness of the tapenade will depend on the purpose or what you want to serve with.

Making a decent tapenade is no easy. You must get the proportions of your ingredients right since they dictate the results in terms of flavor. When processing the ingredients start at low speed and go increasing the speed of the processor until the ingredients are perfectly pureed. This will give you a smooth olive tapenade one that will be easily served with a variety of other dishes.

During my party, I served the olive tapenade as an appetizer . Most of the guests were impressed and requested for this recipe.

However this tapenade is versatile enough to be served with a variety of other meals like meat, sea foods, pasta, etc. If you don’t like using the mixed olive, you can use black olives. They will give you an equally smooth tapenade. Once you become a pro in preparing this tapenade you can now experiment using different ingredients. You will get different and unique flavors.