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Get ready to immerse your palate in a Mediterranean delight with this easy yet exquisitely flavorful Olive Tapenade. Bursting with the richness of Kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and capers, this versatile condiment can turn any ordinary dish into a gourmet experience.
The Best Olive Tapenade Recipe
Imagine a condiment that has the power to instantly elevate any dish. My Olive Tapenade fits the bill perfectly. This Mediterranean marvel isn’t just about mixing a handful of ingredients, it’s about bringing together the bold and briny flavors of Kalamata olives, the tangy sweetness of sun-dried tomatoes, and the delightful zing of capers, all in a symphony of taste that’s bound to turn heads and tantalize tastebuds.
And the best part? It’s all ready in under 5 minutes! Whether you’re hosting an impromptu dinner party or looking for the perfect spread for your lunchtime sandwich, this Olive Tapenade will become your go-to. With the powerful kick of garlic, fresh parsley, and a hint of freshly squeezed lemon juice, every spoonful of this tapenade is a mini adventure to the sun-kissed coasts of the Mediterranean.
Why You’ll Love This Olive Tapenade
- Incredibly Versatile: The Olive Tapenade is not just a spread, it’s a multi-purpose condiment that can instantly upgrade sandwiches, act as a dip for veggies and chips, or beautifully pair with cheese on a charcuterie board.
- Super Easy & Quick to Make: No cooking, no complicated steps. All you need is a food processor and five minutes of your time to create this flavor-packed tapenade. It’s perfect for those last-minute appetizer needs.
- Authentic Mediterranean Flavor: This recipe captures the heart of Mediterranean cuisine with its bold, vibrant, and briny flavors. If you’re looking to explore global tastes from the comfort of your own kitchen, this Olive Tapenade is a delightful and delicious way to do just that.
- Kalamata Olives: The star of this tapenade, these olives give the dish its briny, slightly sweet flavor and rich, purple color. You could substitute other black olives if you prefer, but Kalamata olives are traditionally used in tapenade for their unique flavor.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes: They add a sweet and tangy depth to the tapenade. You could use fresh tomatoes, but the concentrated flavor of sun-dried tomatoes is hard to beat. Don’t throw out the oil, we’re going to use that as well.
- Parsley: It gives a fresh, bright flavor that balances the richness of the olives and tomatoes. Fresh basil could also be used for a different twist.
- Garlic: It contributes a sharp, aromatic component that’s essential in a tapenade. If you find raw garlic too strong, you could use roasted garlic for a milder, sweeter flavor.
- Capers: They give a punch of tangy, salty flavor that complements the olives beautifully. If you don’t have capers on hand, a pinch of sea salt could help bring out the flavors.
- Lemon Juice: This brightens up the flavors and adds a little tang. You could substitute it with another acid like white wine vinegar if needed.
- Pepper: It adds a little heat and depth to the tapenade. Feel free to adjust the amount to your taste.
First off, you’re going to love how simple this is. All you need is a food processor and a few ingredients. But don’t let the simplicity fool you; the flavors are anything but basic.
Once all your ingredients are prepped and ready, you’ll want to place them all in your food processor. es, it’s that simple! Toss them all in there. Olives, tomatoes, parsley, garlic, capers, oil, lemon juice, and pepper. Just pulse everything together until you get the texture you like. Some prefer a coarser tapenade, others like it a bit smoother. Remember, there’s no right or wrong here – it’s all about your preference.
That’s it! Your olive tapenade is ready to serve. This flavorful concoction is amazing spread over a piece of toasted crostini, but you can also use it as a dip or a condiment.
For the best flavor, make sure to use good quality olives and oil – they’re the stars of the show in this recipe. Also, letting the tapenade sit for a few hours before serving can really help the flavors meld together.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is tapenade?
Tapenade is a flavorful spread that originates from the Provence region in France. Traditionally, it’s made from finely chopped or pureed olives, capers, and olive oil. Many variations, like this one, also include other ingredients for added flavor.
Can I use different types of olives for this tapenade?
Absolutely! While Kalamata olives give this tapenade a distinctive, robust flavor, feel free to experiment with other varieties. Just keep in mind that the taste will change based on the type of olive you use.
I don’t have a food processor. Can I still make this tapenade?
Sure thing! If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely chop the ingredients by hand. It will take a bit more time, but the end result will be just as delicious.
Can I make this tapenade in advance?
Yes, in fact, making it a day or two ahead can help the flavors meld together more, resulting in a tastier tapenade.
- Quality Matters: As with any recipe that relies on a few key ingredients, the quality of your olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and capers will make a significant difference to the taste of your tapenade. So opt for high-quality ingredients whenever possible.
- Texture Preference: Depending on your preference for texture, you can either pulse the ingredients to a coarse texture or until smooth. Remember, it’s your tapenade, so make it the way you love!
- Flavor Boost: The oil from the sun-dried tomatoes adds an extra layer of flavor. Don’t skip it!
- Make Ahead: Making your tapenade a day in advance can allow the flavors to meld together better, enhancing the overall taste.
- Versatility: Don’t limit your tapenade to just a dip or a spread on crostini. You can stir it into pasta, use it as a sandwich spread, or even top it on grilled chicken or fish. It’s incredibly versatile!
Store your Olive Tapenade in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep well for up to a week. The olive oil might solidify a bit when chilled, but it will loosen up again at room temperature, so just give it a good stir before serving.
Other Delicious Dip Recipes You’ll Love
- Assemble your ingredients, ensuring the Kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, chopped parsley, garlic cloves, and capers are at hand. Reserve the sun-dried tomato oil for use in the blending process.
- Place all ingredients, including the sun-dried tomato oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice, into a food processor. Pulse until the mixture forms a coarse puree, adjusting to your preferred texture.
- This olive tapenade serves beautifully over crostini, as a standalone dip, or as a zesty condiment to elevate your dishes. Enjoy immediately or store for future use.
- Variations: For an added flavor depth, consider incorporating a few anchovy fillets or a teaspoon of anchovy paste.
- Texture: The final texture of your tapenade depends on your personal preference – pulse a bit longer for a smoother blend, or keep it chunky with a shorter processing time.
- Serving Size: This recipe yields approximately 1.5 cups of tapenade, perfect for a gathering or for storing in the fridge for your own use.
- Sun-dried Tomato Oil: If the sun-dried tomatoes don’t come in enough oil, substitute with extra virgin olive oil.
- Storage: Tapenade can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. The flavors tend to deepen over time.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.
Recipe originally published August 2011. Updated with new photos and video.