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.

Featured in: Remembering Lulu Peyraud, the Cooking Queen of Provence

Black Olive Tapenade 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