Mixed Olive Tapenade

tapenade (3)

I’ve recently started getting into olives. This happened when I saw some cute little olive and cream cheese penguins when I was looking for hors d’oeuvre ideas for Christmas. When I saw those, I thought that they were the cutest most disgusting food ever, but I did eventually try some black olives and they were rather flavorful. I guess I’ve turned, and stepped over to ‘the other side’. *cue evil sniggers*

Anyway, I’ve made tapenade a couple of times now, and have experimented with different olives that I found at our local olive bar. So far, my favorite olive is the Spanish arbequina olive, which has a slightly smoky flavor. However, that one didn’t quite work in the tapenade for me. So, I’ve stuck to mostly Greek black olives (kalamata/gaeta/atalanta etc), with slight variations. I also like the Spanish empeltre olives because I like the slight hint of sherry in them.

Initially, I made the olive tapenade just as a dip for some crackers, but I eventually realized that they are good for many things. I’ve (so far) used them as a steak marinade and also doused them over some steamed green beans – delicious, if you were wondering – and I bet I can find many other uses for the tapenade in my cooking.

What have you used tapenade in?


  • 3-4 pimento-stuffed manzanilla olives
  • 4-5 kalamata olives
  • 3-4 gaeta olives
  • [optional] 3-4 empeltre olives
  • ~ 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 stalk green onion

tapenade (2)

Remove the pits of all olives, and place the olives and all the ingredients in a food processor.

Process until desired consistency. (I like not completely blended because I enjoy the texture of having small bits of olives.)

Serve with toast, or use it in your other recipes!

tapenade (1)

* Do you have a recipe that you use tapenade in? Please share it with me!


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