Black Olive Spread (Tapenade)

Tapenade is a traditional Provençal spread made with finely-chopped black olives, anchovies, olive oil and capers. Its name comes from the Provencal word for capers, “tapenas” It combines the flavors very typical of the South of France. It is especially delicious when spread on little toasts as an hors d’oeuvre. Amazingly versatile, tapenade  is often used to stuff chicken, spooned over roasts and grilled fish. It is often thinned with olive oil and added to vinaigrette.

French provincial olive tapenade

Black Olive Tapenade Spread

This wonderful combination of black olives, capers, garlic, and anchovies make an easy and tasty spread for little toasts for a cocktail party or a charcuterie board.
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Course: Appetizer, Dip
Cuisine: French, Mediterranean, Provence
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Food processor


  • 1 cup Pitted black olives (Nicoise or Kalamata are good)
  • 2 tbsp Capers, drained
  • 3 count Oil packed anchovy filets, drained
  • 4 cloves Garlic, peeled
  • 6 large Basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp Fresh oregano or thyme
  • 3-4 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp Fresh squeezed lemon juice


  • Combine olives, capers, anchovies, garlic, basil, herbs, and Dijon in a food processor. Process until finely chopped, scraping down sides as necessary. Process in lemon juice and drizzle in olive oil to loosen it to a spreadable paste.
  • Transfer to a nice bowl and season with salt and pepper. Serve with toasted slices of French baguette or sturdy crackers,


  • This dish can be made by hand if no food processor for an even richer flavor.
  • To make by hand, add roughly chopped olives, capers, anchovies, basil and herbs in a mortar and pestle. Crush everything until a thick paste is formed. Mix in mustard and lemon juice and then 3 tbsp of olive oil. Season, if necessary, then put in a small bowl and serve.
  •  If squeamish, anchovies can be eliminated. Just add a bit more salt.


Calories: 100kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 0.4mg | Sodium: 462mg | Potassium: 25mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 115IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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