Black or Green Olive Tapenade

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An easy recipe for tapenade – make it by hand or in bullet blender if you have one. It’s so much cheaper to make it at home. Pick up good quality olives when you find them in the farmer’s market or supermarket, keep a tin of anchovies and a jar of salt-packed capers in the store cupboard and you have the main ingredients ready-to-go. Plus a recipe for Ouefs a la Tapenade.

Serves 4


60g green or black olives, stoned
1 tablespoon capers (use salt-packed capers which you need to rinse)
1 clove of garlic
25g anchovies (preferably salt-packed anchovies, rinsed. If not use tinned anchovies, drained and patted dry
Leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper


To make the tapenade by hand:

1. Chop the olives, capers, garlic, anchovies and thyme leaves finely by hand and mix together. Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Press the mixture through a sieve or pound it in a mortar and pestle to make it smooth. Whisk in the olive oil, little by little, until it has been incorporated. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.

To make the tapenade by in a bullet blender, add all the ingredients including the olive oil and blitz until smooth. Season with black pepper to taste.

How to store tapenade
You can keep tapenade for a week in the fridge if you cover or seal it.

Choosing the ingredients
– If you use jarred olives in brine the tapenade won’t taste as good because the brine will be salty and olives soften in brine and become a bit mushy. If you have to use them, rinse well and omit the lemon juice from the recipe above.

– Salt-packed anchovies taste better but tinned anchovies work well. If you use a little of the olive oil from the anchovy tin use less olive oil – the tapenade will taste stronger. Use parsley, oregano or even basil instead of thyme.

– Spread it on toasted bread (or make our melba toast, split sliced bread in half through the middle and toast).

RECIPE | To Make Ouefs a la Tapenade
Cut boiled eggs in half, mix the cooked egg yolks with a little tapenade and return the mixture to fill the egg cavity.

– Keep the tapenade in a sealed jar for up to a week.

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