Appetizers and starters are often more difficult to plan than main meals. After all, you want the entree to be tasty, but not ruin any appetites; complement, but not take over the flavors of the main and if you’re only serving appetizers, like when you’re having a party, you want the appetizer to be substantive enough and hold its own.
Luckily, one easy recipe covers all those bases: olive tapenade.
What Is a Tapenade?
A tapenade is a spread usually made from crushed olives and capers. While it likely originated in the Mediterranean diet regions, where capers are from, tapenade became popular in France’s Provençal region in the south. There, tapenade is usually served alongside bread or crackers, so you can add as much or as little of the spread atop. It’s also mixed with butter and used to stuff chicken or cook fish with.
Though olives and capers are tapenade staples, different regions also add in their own favorite mix-ins to jazz up the original. Sun-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, anchovies and eggplant are all common additions that take a traditional olive tapenade and make it even better.
The heart-healthy, cholesterol-lowering foods like nutrition-rich olive oil, garlic, anchovy, eggplant and the like are what helped make the Mediterranean diet so famous.
Olive Tapenade Nutrition Facts
- 53 calories
- 4 grams fat
- 3 grams carbohydrates
- 431.63 milligrams sodium
- 41.39 micrograms vitamin K (34.49 percent DV)
- 245.19 IUs vitamin A (4.9 percent DV)
- 3.56 milligrams vitamin C (3.96 percent DV)
How to Make Olive Tapenade
Because I am a big fan of sun-dried tomatoes, I’ve added some to my version of olive tapenade. You’ll love the extra zest they add.
Since this easy olive tapenade recipe is made from so few ingredients, I urge you to find the best quality olives and capers you can get your hands on. They will make a huge difference!
You can use either olive oil or avocado oil (a French favorite) for this recipe; both taste great. We’re loading up on herbs, too, including fresh basil and parsley, for some serious flavor.
Finally, though old-school tapenades are made with a mortar and pestle, in this tapenade recipe, I’ll spare your arms — you’ll use a food processor to achieve a nice, smooth spread in just seconds.
Add all of the ingredients to the food processor.
Then blend on high until all the ingredients are well-combined. It’s OK for the tapenade recipe to be a bit chunky.
Serve the olive tapenade with your favorite crackers or gluten-free crostini …
If you don’t feel like using this easy olive tapenade as a dip with crackers or crostini, you can be innovative and use it as a condiment for your next Mediterranean-inspired sandwich or atop a salad. You can’t go wrong with however you choose to serve this olive tapenade. As the French say, bon appétit!