Black Olive Tapenade

Tapenade, the traditional Provençal condiment made with black olives, is a versatile staple. Delicious when spread on little toasts for an aperitif, a spoonful also makes a great accompaniment to grilled fish or any kind of roast. The tapenade can also be thinned with olive oil and drizzled or used as a base for vinaigrette. Tapenade will keep in the fridge for a month or more, topped with a thin layer of olive oil.

Black Olive Tapenade
Tapenade, the traditional Provençal condiment made with black olives, is great on toasts, grilled fish, and roasts.
Yield: makes 1 cup
Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 cup niçoise olives, pitted
  • 12 cup oil-cured Mediterranean olives, pitted
  • 2 tsp. capers, rinsed, optional
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 12 tsp. lemon zest, grated
  • 12 tsp. chopped thyme or winter savory
  • 2 anchovy fillets, well rinsed and chopped
  • 12 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Mince the garlic, then sprinkle with a pinch of salt and press and smash into a smooth paste with the side of a knife.
  2. Put the garlic paste, olives, capers, lemon juice and zest, the thyme, and anchovies in a food processor and grind to a rough paste. (Alternatively, use a large chef's knife to chop the ingredients. For a smoother texture, purée for a while longer in the food processor.) Transfer to a small bowl and stir in olive oil, salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Thin with more olive oil if desired.
Black olive tapenade
Black olive tapenade.Matt Taylor-Gross