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How to make Tapenade at home

Bowl of black olive tapenade and a slice of bread spread with tapenade

For me tapenade is a taste of Provence. Crushed olives, piquant tasting and utterly delicious spread onto a piece of bread, perfect with a glass of wine or Pastis.

A taste of summer, of sunshine, the spirit of southern France on a spoon. According to food historians, tapenade was born from Romans preserving olives in oil which turned into a tasty mush.

It’s a classic French appetizer, offered in bars, restaurants, cafés and homes. Everyone seems to have their favourite way of making it. Tinned tuna fish is often added, chopped parsley, And, it’s so easy to make tapenade at home. It takes just a few minutes to blend and serve.

Classic French black olive tapenade recipe

Serves 5-6 people

25g tinned anchovies (some people like to use half anchovies/half tinned tuna)
25g capers
100g black olives (stoned) (the better the quality, the better the taste, Kalamata olives for instance, are perfect)
Clove of garlic
Leaves from a sprig fresh thyme (optional)
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
Black pepper (ground)
Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)

Drain the capers, anchovies (and tuna if your’e adding it) and put all the ingredients – except for the olive oil and pepper – into a food processor and blend to a rough puree.

Once it’s evenly blended, add the olive oil slowly on a slow speed. If you like your tapenade to have a bit of a citrus lift, squeeze the juice of half a lemon in at this point.

You won’t need to add salt, thanks to the anchovies, but now’s the time to add some ground black pepper according to taste.

The tapenade will keep for a few weeks in a tightly closed dish in the fridge. If you can keep it at all that is. This is a delicious little treat and very moreish!

More delicious French appetisers to make at home:

The cheesiest gougeres ever!
Three cheese fougasse bread
Gooey baked Camembert
The nameless appetiser that made Liza Minelli happy – it’s the perfect appetiser for a French style party!

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