Wednesday, August 10, 2011


If someone asked me, what would you like on your pizza there is a likelihood I will reply “Olives, capers, and anchovies.” So it would come as no surprise that tapenade is up there on my list of favourite things. Tapenade hails from Provence, France, and is one of the simplest and most enjoyable things you could heap on a piece of bread. At its heart its only three ingredients: olives, capers, and anchovy. There is a word of caution though -do not cheap out on ingredients! The success or failure of this dish is completely relative to the quality of ingredients, there is no where to hide. Find the best black olives you can find, and avoid the mass market tinned ones (they taste like... well nothing). You might have to experiment with what anchovies work the best for you, however preserved in salt or olive oil (not vegetable or soy), is a good place to start. I have not ran into too many issues with 'bad' capers myself.

What I am going to show you is a very basic recipe, and if you stick close to these proportions you can not go wrong. I will also show you common additions relative to the recipe if you wish to jazz it up bit. Also note that this is probably the one and only time I will ever say “You do not need to add salt.” All the ingredients are either the fishy embodiment of salt, or they sit around in it.


1/2 cup Black olives, pitted
1 tsp Capers
1 Anchovy

Possible Additions

1 clove Garlic
3-5 leaves Basil
2-3 leaves Oregano
1 tsp Lemon (zest and/or juice -just watch the consistency with liquid ingredients)

How you want to process this into its delicious tasty paste-like consistency is up to you. Either finely chop, use a food processor, or mortal and pestle. I prefer to do things old school. You’ll have approximately 1/2 a cup yield of tapenade after all is said and done. If the consistency seems too think, feel free to thin it out with a touch of olive oil. Bon Appetite.