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Authentic Olive Tapenade

  • Author: lechefswife
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: starters
  • Method: chopped
  • Cuisine: French


Authentic Provençal Olive Tapenade is a delicious spread of olives, garlic, capers and  anchovies, that is served in the South of France.



2 cups black olives (Kalamata or Niçois)

6 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp of Pastis (or Gin if you don’t have Pastis)

2 filets of anchovies ( I promise, you don’t actually taste the anchovy – just the saltiness that this dish needs)

2 tbsps capers (the little capers, not caper berries)

1/2 tbsp dried Herbes de Provence (if you don’t have Herbes de Provence, oregano on its own works too)

1/2 cup olive oil


First, put the garlic cloves, capers and sardines in the food processor with the Pastis (or Gin). Give it several pulses to make a paste.

Next, add 1/3 of the olives and approximately 1/3 of the olive oil and 1/3 of the herbs. Pulse several times. Mix together with your spoon, bringing the contents on the side of the bowl into the center.

Repeat 3 times.

This does not need to be exact, but separating the ingredients into 3 batches allows an even mixture between ingredients.

Serve the tapenade with totis, little toasts made of day old baguette.

For the Totis:

Slice baguette into 1/4 inch slices. Put the slices in the toaster or a couple of minutes under the broiler until golden brown.

Bon Appétit!



Anchovies are necessary for this dish, but I promise you won’t taste them!

If there is too much liquid in the tapenade (depending on how juicy your olives are) , you can strain out the excess liquid by placing small amounts of tapenade in a strainer. Keep the tapenade for this recipe and save the olive juice for cooking with! Le Chef suggests pouring over a rack of lamb in the oven.

Be careful not to add salt to the tapenade! This dish is salty enough!

Ways to enjoy Tapenade:

  • En Appéritif. Tapenade is one of the mainstays of the the delicious tradition of the “apéro” and pairs well with a glass of rosé, pastis or kir royal.
  • As a starter. Served with crackers, vegetable spears, hardboiled eggs and fresh sliced baguette, tapenade is a great first course.
  • Over pasta. A spoonful of tapenade over a plate of steaming tagliatelle, drizzled with olive oil, is a great side dish.
  • With Chicken. Roasted Chicken breasts , smothered with olive tapenade are delicious and juicy!
  • In baking: I love to bake olive tapenade into cheese twists or crackers.












Keywords: olive tapenade, apperitif, apéro, olives, french food