Friday, November 24, 2006

tapenade aux olives vertes ou noires

its name, derived from the provençal word for capers — tapéno, is synonymous with good times with friends and sipping wine on a warm summer's evening. tapenade really is one of the tastiest spreads for a crusty, fresh loaf of french bread.

this olive paste which originates from france, is often and most commonly used for hors d'oeuvres. it can be made from either green or black olives and fortified with other ingredients which are optional. capers are typically a main ingredient but as you will see with patricia wells' recipe, there isn't a caper to be found. her version, from ma cuisine en provence, includes tuna.

if you can read french or just like to look at pictures, here is an article about "la récolte" or harvesting of olives in france.

here are some olives which are specific to israel and here is a very nice display of a myriad of different types in general.

feeling the need to cure your own with lye or to read more? and with enough links to make one's head spin, here you'll find everything olive-related.

the basic elements of a tapenade, often called and likened to as "caviar" are:

pitted black olives [salt-cured]
anchovy fillets
a mild extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to one's taste

the preparation is pretty forgiving however the formula for tapenade is always more olives than capers. it can be prepared in a food processor, chopped by hand or done in a large mortar.

basic kalamata tapenade
(only black olives)


25 pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp chopped capers, more or less
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 - 3/4 tsp anchovy paste [optional]
cracked black pepper


choose your way of preparing the ingredients in either a processor, a mortar or by hand.

provençal version of tapenade
(only black olives)


1 1/2 cup olives [kalamata or other cured black ones]
2 garlic cloves
2 1/2 oz anchovy fillets
1/2 cup capers
1/2 cup olive oil
Fresh black pepper


coarsely chop and mix.

patricia wells' green olive tapenade


1 170g can of tuna in oil
60 g soft butter
150 g green olives, pitted and drained & chopped
lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp dried basil or 4 tbsp fresh chopped


with a fork, break up the tuna in the can and then put all of it including the oil either in a bowl or a processor. add the rest of the ingredients and process or mix well.

for another green olive tapenade recipe with a gorgeous picture, click here.

figs stuffed with tapenade

Cooking to Beat the Clock Sam Gugino


15 oil-cured black olives, pitted
2 teaspoons capers
1 anchovy fillet
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, 1/4 teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons olive oil
12 ripe, small mission figs


puree olives, capers, anchovy, and thyme together in a food processor or chop by hand.

make a slit in the side of each fig and spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of tapenade into the fig. pinch opening closed. allow 3 figs per person.

yield: 4 servings

if you want to know how to make 4 different kinds of marinated olives, look at this from, a site that i like a lot:


Ostara said...

Everything you always wanted to know about an olive! Great post, buréka boy. (I wouldn't want to be the one in charge of checking to be sure the "lye taste" was gone!)

I've a birthday party to attend tomorrow and plan to try recipe #1 to take with me. Will let you know how it turns out. Thanks!

chanit said...

אני אוהבת את המטעמים בפיקנטיים האלו
מתאים לי עכשיו

burekaboy — said...

ostara - lol, i am sure someone, somewhere, is curing at home with lye ... it doesn't sound too appetizing does it? i sometimes see flats of raw olives in one of our supermarkets and wonder what people are going to do with them.

i hope you enjoy making and eating the tapenade. i would suggest using the anchovy as it gives extra flavour. you may need to double the recipe, depending on how much you want for your party. the recipe is pretty standard and you may adjust the ingredients to suit your tastes.

burekaboy — said...

גם אני אוהב את זה -- אני רוצה להכין את הזיתיים שבסרטון

הכל נראה מאוד טעים

ServesYouRight said...

OMG - you are fabulously productive! Loved the post. Any substitutes for anchovies? Thrilled to bits about 'planting the seed' for the tropical fruit blog ;-D

burekaboy — said...

smita - thanks for the compliment. much appreciated. have to say the blog keeps me busy [and out of "trouble"!]:-D.

in terms of the anchovies, you can leave them out. the amount is miniscule however, i would replace it with salt (to taste). i am trying to think if there is a substitute you could use .... i shall 'think on it' and let you know. i am sure there is some vegetarian way to do it.