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Olive Tapenade

Submitted by: suzanne-mcminn on June 15, 2011
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Olive Tapenade

An olive tapenade is a simple olive spread made in a way similar to pesto. Think: Pesto with olives. The olives are pureed in a food processor along with garlic and herbs. Olive oil is added to a spread consistency rather than a more saucy consistency as with a pesto. If you are opposed to olives, a thick pesto would be a good substitute. You could also substitute the olives with another vegetable of your choice, such as peppers.

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Difficulty: Easy

Servings: 1 cup plus

Prep Time: 5 minutes  


9-10 ounce jar of pitted olives, drained
2 cloves garlic
handful each of fresh parsley, rosemary, oregano, chives
olive oil


There are many, many olive tapenade recipes on the internet. After perusing several, from complicated (Emeril!) to much more simple, I made mine this way, using what I had available to me and the olives I already had on my pantry shelf (Kalamata). I’ve seen tapenade recipes with every kind of olive on the planet, so choose your favorite, along with your favorite herbs. (Don’t use olives with pimento!) If you don’t use olives, you may want to add a pinch of salt. If you use olives, they are generally salty enough without adding any more.

Adjust the quantities to suit the amount of tapenade you’re preparing.

To make the tapenade, puree olives, garlic, and herbs in food processor. Add olive oil a little at a time and blend to spreading consistency.

Olive tapenade stores in the fridge for a week, so you can make it ahead of time. This recipe makes over a cup of tapenade. Try it on sandwiches or burgers! Use sparingly–it is salty. It pairs especially well with mozzarella.

Categories: Condiments, Entertaining, Gourmet, Other Condiments

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