Tapenade is a condiment of sorts, made from olives mostly, plus capers. It originates from Southern France, specifically the Provence region, but I’ve seen recipes from nearby Italy that also include anchovies. So once again we have a dish that has many different variations.

I’ve seen tapenade more often made solely with black olives, and it’s really pretty. But today I decided to use up a jar of mixed olives I had leftover from the holidays. I decided also to switch things up a little and use up some sun-dried tomatoes looking very sad in a half-used jar in my refrigerator.

I think I was inspired by my own recipe I served to friends this summer, that I called tapeschetta – essentially a combination of tapenade and bruschetta. Tricky, huh?!!! The combination was just a last minute thing I did because I wasn’t expecting company and had to work quickly. (Which is why the photos on that post are pretty terrible!) But it turned out so good that I haven’t quit thinking about it. I’d love to make it again, but without fresh, good tomatoes, I can’t repeat the recipe until next summer.

So I put this mixture together and now present you with a non-traditional, yet still fabulous tapenade!

Tapenade with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I jar of mixed, herbed olives, dry weight 7 ounces, well drained
2 tablespoons small capers, well drained
3 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes, the kind jarred in oil
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Black pepper

Place the olives and capers in a jar of a food processor. These olives even come pitted!

tap (2)
If necessary, coarsely chop the sun-dried tomatoes and add them and the garlic to the jar.

Add the thyme and black pepper. Then add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil; I used the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes.
Begin processing the olives and other ingredients. You will have to scrape down the sides and repeat with the processing until you get the texture you want.

I like some texture, but I have seen tapenade that is almost smooth and pasty. It’s just a personal choice.
I served this tapenade with toasted tortilla strips and a log of goat cheese at room temperature. The addition of sun-dried tomatoes was really nice, although the main flavors are the olives and the brininess from the olives and capers.

Tapenade can be used on a cheese platter because it’s so good as is on great country-style bread. Just place the tapenade in a little bowl with a spreader.

But I can also see it stuffed under chicken skin, or rolled in veal scallops like rollatini, maybe with some Provolone included. It would also be good as a topping on soups and stews as well. So many options for tapenade!

48 thoughts on “Tapenade

  1. Your recipe includes a couple of things that I love- sundried tomatoes and capers), not too mention a bit of texture. A bowl of tapenade with crackers and a nice glass of wine makes a nice way to greet guests for a dinner party. Lovely recipe!

  2. Looks fabulous! Sometimes tapenade can be a little bitter (depending on the olives used) so the addition of sundried tomatoes is a great way to get a little sweetness!

  3. I haven’t thought of tapenade in ages! Now I’m craving a scoop with a piece of baguette!
    This delectable recipe might just make the Super Bowl Sunday menu!

  4. I love tapenade. It’s one of my favourite things to have on a cheese platter, particularly if it has artichokes or truffles in it. Yours looks delicious… I love the fact that it’s rustic enough to actually see all of the delicious bits of olive, sundried tomato and herb. Lovely recipe Mimi! That goats cheese looks divine too! x

  5. Chef Mimi, the Queen of Tapescetta! The comment above: “Lovely recipe and so so easy! It’s amazing how recipes whipped up at the last minute sometimes turn out be better than the traditional ones!” is very true. What should be added is that these amazing recipes that can be whipped up at the last minute usually only ever ‘work’ when they are done by someone with a great deal of experience and pizazz….

    • Monsieur, I can’t write in French! It’s been too many years! I feel that there is already enough olive oil in the olives, but I did add 1 tablespoon of oil from the jar that contained the sun-dried tomatoes. You could easily use olive oil as well! Merci!

Leave a Reply. I love 'em!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.