Make Ahead

John Besh's Green Olive Tapenade

October 27, 2013
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes about 2 cups
Author Notes

This recipe is adapted from Cooking From the Heart by John Besh. —Merrill Stubbs

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups pitted olives, black or green
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 filets salt-cured anchovies
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • Leaves from 1 (or 2) sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  1. Combine the olives, garlic, anchovies, capers, and thyme in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the olives are coarsely chopped.
  2. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until it is all absorbed.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Emilia Rosa
    Emilia Rosa
  • AntoniaJames
  • Merrill Stubbs
    Merrill Stubbs
  • Miachel Pruett
    Miachel Pruett

12 Reviews

Julie February 16, 2022
This is delicious, I made it veggie without the anchovies. Would dial back a bit on the olive oil next time, it's a little too liquidy for my purposes. But it's quite tasty - I went heavy on the thyme.
Jo A. November 15, 2017
Can I make this without anchovies? Is there a substitute?
beejay45 November 4, 2015
Ann, you can use regular, in oil, anchovies just fine Some folks throw in the oil from them, others pat them dry before using. The salted ones can be brushed to remove the salt. If you're really concerned about it, though, you could risne and pat dry, too, for the salt-cured.

Tapenade is very rich so you aren't eating lots at a time. It's really more of a condiment used for the exquisite flavor it adds to things. Unless you're on a salt-restricted diet, the relative saltiness shouldn't be a problem.
Ann November 4, 2015
I am having trouble finding salt-cured anchovies at my local market. All the canned anchovies are salted, but in oil. Will these anchovies still work as well. Seems as though the salt-cured variety would make this very salty, considering the other ingredients. PPlease help. I need to make this tomorrow. Thanks.
Emilia R. June 9, 2014
Absolutely my favorite things, the combination is too sexy to resist!!! I wonder how long this will keep refrigerated... The oil and salt (from capers, olives and anchovies) will probably be a very good preservative, I'd think?
Merrill S. June 9, 2014
Just to be safe, I think you'd better eat it all up within a couple of weeks...;)
Emilia R. June 9, 2014
Thanks, Merrill!
Tereza March 8, 2014
Love olive tapenades as a great dip! Lovely recipe, thank you for sharing!
AntoniaJames November 12, 2013
Is that a pistachio studded baguette in your photo there?! I'm so inspired. I'm putting nuts in the wild yeast sourdough baguettes I will make this weekend to freeze and then serve with on Thanksgiving with this inviting tapenade. ;o)
Miachel P. November 12, 2013
Ooh...or garlic studded! :) So many possibilities, only one Thanksgiving day.
Deedledum November 3, 2013
Oh yes, I second the request for that bread recipe!
maryevmaryev October 28, 2013
Is there a recipe for the lovely loaf of bread next to the tapenade?