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.
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