Party Snacks: Tapenade (Black Olive Spread)

16 Sep

This is one spread that makes no excuses. It has full-on, big-ass, unapologetic, salty flavor: black olives, capers, anchovies…This is for your friends who really enjoy robust and lusty food and who will slather spreads generously and lavishly. It is not subtle, so don’t waste these party snacks on the tea and crumpet crowd.

Don’t bother removing the bones. They add nutrients and will be undetectable.

We hadn’t made it in awhile…we meant to when my sister-in-law, Annika, was here visiting this summer, and somehow didn’t get to it. My dad had some latent guilt about the omission, so for a recent BBQ with the Goralskis – people who know how to eat — we decided to put it on the menu. Nothing could be more simple. If you don’t have a food processor, then do it in a mortar and pestle.

Thyme from the front stoop container garden!

Important note: As much as I believe in DIY cooking, I recommend you buy the olives already pitted. Pitting oily olives is a big, sloppy job that I would rather avoid.

Easy as pressing a button!

And make a lot. It will keep tightly covered in the fridge for three months!

Tapenade (Black Olive Paste)

6 anchovy filets (from a jar, packed in salt preferred)

1.5 Cups salt cured black olives, pitted (even if you buy them from the store pitted, double check so you don’t ruin your food processor!)

1 Tbs capers, rinsed and drained

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 heaping tsp fresh thyme (half this amount if using dried)

Place the anchovy filets on a paper towel and pat dry, scraping off some of the salt (or oil, if using oil-packed).

(This version does not call for garlic, but others do. Live large and add a clove).

Then, place all ingredients in a small food processor and blend until smooth and spreadable. Use for sandwiches, crudités, spread on crusty bread, or to season other dishes. You can also finish a soup with a dollop of this on top! It will keep in the fridge for three months tightly covered!

For more on olives, visit Wikipedia on olives, or on capers. Click here for tips on purchasing anchovies and capers.


15 Responses to “Party Snacks: Tapenade (Black Olive Spread)”

  1. rumpydog September 23, 2012 at 6:31 am #


  2. Tammy September 18, 2012 at 3:13 am #

    I am one of those who does love the big-ass flavors.

  3. absygirl September 17, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    You make this sound and look so good. Anchovies (and their bones) do scare me a bit, but the olives sound delish! Nice post.

  4. Abigail September 17, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    You make this sound and look sooooo delicious, and I don’t even like anchovies, though I LOVE olives.

  5. ceciliag September 17, 2012 at 6:50 am #

    This is a great recipe, I love tapanade.. I have unfollowed and refollowed your pages in the hope that WordPress will send me notifications of your posts again, I hate to miss out on anything! c

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy September 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

      Thanks so much for your support. It means a great deal! I also find that people drop in and out of my reader somehow…also tried cleaning up the reader today!

  6. Eha September 16, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    Absolutely love this and yours is a very simple ‘honest’ recipe: did not realize it kept as well, so the next few free hours . . .

  7. Mad Dog September 16, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    That’s one of my favourites, though I do use a couple of pieces of garlic and sometime omit the capers if I don’t have any handy (though the name tapenade is Provençal for capers). I might have to make some this week after reading this 😉

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy September 16, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

      You know, I was so shocked to realize that we hadn’t been putting garlic in all these years. It seems almost blasphemous..and yet there you have it. I’ll be putting garlic in my next batch for comparison’s sake…

  8. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide September 16, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    Oh Katherine’s wanted to make olive tapenade for ages. I think I just found the perfect recipe. We do love our anchovies!

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy September 16, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

      We do too! Loving the salt-packed one…PLEASE let me know about your modifications…I just know you two will have some genius ideas that I will want to borrow!

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