Recipe – Tapenade


I love salt, so a dish made of black olives, capers and anchovies is right up my alley. Tapenade hails from Provence in the sunny south of France and is generally regarded as an olive paste, however the name comes from ‘tapeno’ meaning ‘caper bud’ in the Provençal language, so be sure to use good plump salted capers in your tapenade. As always, the better the Ingredients, the better the dish, so buy good olives (I use Sommariva), anchovies (Ortiz) and olive oil (Alto) too. This delicious paste is perfect smeared on croutons to serve with an aperitif of Ricard pastis de Marseille or a glass of rosé de Provence, such as AIX. It keeps in the fridge for ages with a thin layer of oil on top and is great tossed through pasta; slathered onto grilled meat, poultry or fish; served as a dip with crudités; or thinned with more oil and drizzled over ripe tomatoes. Some recipes include garlic, lemon juice and parsley; I like to keep mine simple, but feel free to add your own touch.

Makes about 1½ cups

Ingredients
  • 300g pitted Niçoise (Ligurian) black olives
  • 6 anchovy fillets (about 45g)
  • 1/4 cup salted capers, washed and dried
  • 4 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 

Croutons

  • 1 baguette, sliced
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for tossing
Method
  1. Make Croutons: preheat oven to 200°C; put baguette slices in a large bowl, drizzle generously with oil and toss to coat well; arrange on an oven tray and bake for 10 minutes or so, until golden. Set aside to cool then store in an air-tight container in a dark place until needed.
  2. Combine olives, anchovies, capers, thyme and pepper in a food processor.
  3. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil to form a thick paste.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and serve with croutons.
  5. Store any leftover refrigerated covered with a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil. 
FAQ

What is tapenade?
Tapenade is a paste of olives, capers and anchovies.
Where does tapenade come from?
Tapenade originated in Provence in the southern France.
What does the word tapenade mean?
The name tapenade comes from the Provençal word for caper berry: ‘tapeno’.
How do you serve tapenade?
Smear tapenade on croutons to serve with an aperitif, toss through pasta; slather onto grilled meat, poultry or fish; serve as a dip with crudités; or thin with olive oil and drizzle over ripe tomatoes.
How do you store tapenade?
Store any leftover tapenade in the fridge covered with a thin layer of olive oil. It will keep for ages.
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