5 Ingredients or Fewer


August 26, 2010
1 Rating
Author Notes

Tapenade is a very versatile condiment. It’s been part of my repertoire since I taught my first Provençal cooking class 25 years ago. The consensus of my classes is that no one who likes to cook—or to eat— should be without this recipe. It’s incredibly easy to make (in a food processor), and definitely satisfies the universal salt craving in a most sophisticated fashion! —ChefJune

  • Makes about 2 cups
  • 1 pound large plump ripe olives (they should be slightly wrinkled, cured in oil rather than brine)
  • 1 2-ounce tin anchovies preserved in olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and slightly crushed
  • 3 tablespoons capers preserved in vinegar, well drained
  • 3 tablespoons best quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
In This Recipe
  1. Pit the olives with an olive pitter, or crush the olive meat (but not the pit) with the flat side of a large knife or cleaver, and remove the seed. Put the olive meat into a food processor fitted with the metal blade.
  2. Add the tin of anchovies with oil, and the garlic, capers, and olive oil and a few good turns of the pepper mill. Pulse with on/off switch to blend the ingredients together all at once. Keep this preparation brief so that the purée retains a coarse texture
  3. Teacher's Tips: To store the Tapenade for future use, pack it in small jars (preferably glass). Cover jars tightly and refrigerate. [I’ve known it to keep as long as 2 months.]
  4. Tapenade is a very versatile condiment. You can spread it on toasted slices of French bread and serve it with aperitifs; serve it as an hors d’oeuvre with raw vegetables and hard boiled eggs or use it as the basis for a sandwich. Spread it on a long thin baguette of French bread, split in half and lightly toasted, then layer the sandwich with slices of tomato, hard-boiled eggs, sweet spring onions and a few anchovy fillets (or chunks of well-drained canned tuna). It also perks up the flavor of a turkey sandwich, when used as a substitute for mayonnaise.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Simon Kaheru
    Simon Kaheru
  • SouffleBombay
  • lapadia
  • AntoniaJames
  • ChefJune
30+ years a chef, educator, writer, consultant, "winie," travel guide/coordinator