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Apr 19, 2005 11:34 PM

Black Olive Tapenade recipes

  • w

I have some bulk olives (kalmatas and another variety) from one of the local Mediteranean stores which I resently de-pitted.

Does anyone have any good recipes for a dark olive tapenade, preferably without achovies?

Or if I must use the achovies, tell me why?


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  1. Deborah Madison's recipe is a crowd pleaser.
    Olive paste
    1 cup olives, such as Nicoise or Kalamata
    1/4 c capers, pitted
    2 small garlic cloves
    2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried
    1-2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    fresh lemon juice.

    In a food processor, make a smooth paste of the olives, capers,
    garlic, and thyme if using dried. Add the olive oil while the machine
    is running. Season with pepper and add lemon juice and thyme if using

    1 Reply
    1. re: nooodles

      My recipe is almost the same, but with fresh sage instead of thyme, and a bit of chopped golden raisons-maybe 1/8 of a cup or to taste. This shouldn't be sweet-you shouldn't taste the raisons in it,but you can really taste the difference when you add them. Easy and good!

    2. I've made this olive-eggplant spread a number of times and it's always been a big hit with my guests. I always add more olives and capers than it calls for, but that's just a matter of taste.

      And I let the cooked eggplant drain a bit so that it doesn't get too watery.


      1. I'll use a couple of anchovy filets just to provide a little salty taste when I make it with a combo of reg. black olives and mild green ones. Seems when I throw Kalamatas into the mix, they make it salty enough and the anchovies aren't needed.

        2 Replies
        1. re: PolarBear

          Good call on no salt when using Kalmatas. I didn't add any and basically threw in a bit of red onion, some fresh minced garlic, some chopped red peppers, a bit of olive oil and all the olives. Pretty pungent but good so far. I love olives so it being strong doesn't bother me.

          1. re: Willie

            OTOH when I make putanesca sauce, I use a whole can of Kalamatas and a whole tin of chopped up anchovies, the latter stirred in during the last two minutes with a bunch of cilantro (Italian parsley if you're a purist). Seems to add just the right amount of salt for the volume, people that hate anchovies never even know they're in it.

        2. While I love whole olives, I find that a tapenade w/ pungent olives (like Kalamata) is too overpowering, so I like to cut that kind of tapenade w/ roasted red bell peppers (from the jar is fine). Use whatever ratio suits your tastes. Other additions: 1-2 garlic cloves, EVOO, S&P, parsley.