Tasty Tapenade: 3 Ways to Flavor Your Next Party

Tasty Tapenade: 3 Ways to Flavor Your Next Party

Tapenade is a delicious — and easy — way to add a burst of flavor to all sorts of familiar foods. Essentially a flavor-packed paste of olives, capers, and anchovies with a drizzle of olive oil and splash of lemon juice, traditional tapenade is super easy to make. Just dump all the ingredients in a food processor, whiz it together until it forms a paste, and you’re good to go.

Tapenade cover 1

Delicious Versatility

Tapenade is scrumptious spread on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise, slathered on a savory tart crust before adding the filling, or swirled into a salad dressing for piquancy. Stir it into sour cream or yogurt as a dip for crudités or chips, add a few tablespoons to bread dough to make savory bread for sandwiches, or add a spoonful to a steaming bowl of soup or stew for a burst of fresh flavor.

Although traditional tapenade is wonderful, with a bit of imagination you can create all sorts of delectable variations.

One of my favorites is sun-dried tomato. Simply puree the tomatoes with garlic, basil, olive oil, and seasoning. I like to switch it up even more by substituting spinach, nasturtium leaves, or chicory for the basil. This one is good spread over puff pastry, rolled up like a jelly roll, and sliced into rounds before baking. When they’re done, shave some Parmesan cheese over top and they’re a great addition to an hors d’oeuvres tray.

Another one is a simple chunky lentil tapenade. This one can be made with beans or lentils cooked with onion and garlic until soft. Just add a healthy dollop of traditional olive tapenade then stir in chopped fresh tomatoes, diced cooked green beans, and a bit more olive oil. Stir well (but do not blend!) and serve it in savory dollops atop fried slices of polenta for a great appetizer.

sun dried tomato tapenade

Sun Dried Tomato Tapenade

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup green leaves (basil, spinach, chicory, nasturtium)
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves only
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Place all ingredients in food processor and process until a paste forms. Pour into sterilized jar, cover with a layer of olive oil, seal, and refrigerate until ready to use.

kalamata olive tapenade

Kalamata Olive Tapenade

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup marinated kalamata olives, drained and pitted.
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: 2-3 anchovy fillets, drained

Preparation:

Place all ingredients in food processor and process until a paste forms. Pour into sterilized jar, cover with a layer of olive oil, seal, and refrigerate until ready to use.

veggie tapenade on fried polenta

Chunky Lentil Tapenade

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 batch of Kalamata Olive Tapenade
  • 1 Roma tomato, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cooked green beans, diced
  • 1 cup cooked lentils (cooked with onion and garlic)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • extra olive oil, if needed

Preparation:

In medium-sized bowl, stir together all ingredients until well mixed. Pour into sterilized jar, cover with a layer of olive oil, seal, and refrigerate until ready to use.

All photos are courtesy of the author except the lead photo by  roberto_venturini. 

Tasty Tapenade: 3 Ways to Flavor Your Next Party

Krista Bjorn

Canadian born Krista Bjorn has been traveling and exploring for over 20 years and loves every crazy, embarrassing, and wonderful moment. She's lived in Russia and Portugal and now makes her home in beautiful Queensland, Australia, saving her pennies for her next trip. Her food, photography and travel blog is Rambling Tart.

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