So, Tapenade, huh?
First things first. It’s ‘tap-uh-naad’ not ‘tape-nade’ nor “tap-and-aid”. Please don’t ever call it tape-nade or tap-and-aid in public; especially in one of those upmarket delis where the staff feel compelled to correct your pronunciation with a condescending look. Like they have majored in French literature at Columbia Uni, while you’re nothing but an ignorant who has never set foot outside your home town.
I genuinely hate those food shops with surly and pretentious staff; where you are left feeling unwelcome throughout and a mere inconvenience in their day. Like they have something better to do notwithstanding the fact that you are actually spending 10 bucks for a ¼ lb of cherry tomatoes.
Overpriced food and paraphernalia with a side of indifferent customer service...deffo not my kinda spot.
That’s why I love Farmers’ Market instead. Vibrant gathering places, good prices, top quality produce; where it is common to see people lingering to chat with vendors and maybe even meet friends.
To me, a farmers’ market has a real sense of community, even in a big city.
Or maybe I’m just fooling myself and I’m seeing things that are only in my head.
Guys, am I becoming a tree hugger? Be honest.
The Iron Tree Hugger...weird.
Any-hoo, back to the tapenade.
Perhaps tapenade is a tad ugly. It’s dark and weirdly shining.
Some may not finding it appealing. But we have already established that looks have nothing to do with deliciousness when it comes to food. Right?
Because tapenade is delicious, legitimately delicious.
Tangy, olivey and ridiculously packed with flavor.
So easy to make and can be used as a dip, spread or topping for fish and poultry.
Here’s the thing about tapenade, it makes you wanna eat more of it, even if it means ruining your appetite for dinner.
It’s hard to account for the addictive nature of this paste of olives, capers, anchovies, and olive oil.
I have a theory about tapenadeò I think that the other ingredients intensify everything that is good about olives (saltiness, oiliness) and remove or mitigate the drawbacks (such as the acridity).
Even if you don’t like anchovies and capers, fear not; you won’t be able to taste them in the tapenade. It’s like fish sauce, a flavor and umami enhancer.
In addition to being crazy addictive, tapenade is crazy easy to make in a blender or food processor.
I like tapenade where the olives are minced but not fully puréed, to ensure a rough texture. But if you go overboard - or if your machine knows no interval between giving ingredients a gentle twirl and thoroughly pulverizing them - it’s no big deal. It still going to be delicious.
Make a batch, serve it to your friends and see their reactions. Or make two batches and keep one for yourself in the refrigerator for enhancing your meals throughout the week.
Black Olive Tapenade Print this recipe!
Yields about 2 ½ cups
4 cups / 14.1 oz / 400 gr pitted black olives (use chemical-free such as Santa Barbara)
1 ½ tablespoons non-pareil capers
2 garlic cloves
8 anchovies fillets* (I used Wild Planet because they’re sustainably caught)
6 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
Ground black pepper to taste
*skip to make it vegetarian/vegan
Combine all ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until a paste is formed, about 2 to 3 minutes. You’ll need to stop the food processor every now and them and scrape the side with a spatula.
I like my tapenade fairly coarse but if you like yours smoother, go for that.
Take a taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
The tapenade will keep in a jar (or sealed container) in the fridge for at least a week, in the unlikely event that you don't eat it all at once.
One tablespoon yields 38 calories, 4 grams of fat, 1 gram of carbs and 0.2 grams of protein.