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Tapenade is one the easiest recipes and very popular from Provence.. This famed olive spread from Provence is made from black olives, capers, anchovies, herbs, and garlic. Other recipes essential ingredients are olives, capers, olive oil and lemon juice. Of course, nowadays it possible to see many different ingredients in tapenade and they are available everywhere including supermarkets.
The original recipe was created by a chef named Meynier at the Marseilles restaurant La Maison Dorée in 1880 and was made with equal parts olive, caper, and briny fish, like anchovies and oil-packed tuna—hence the fact that tapenade takes its name from capers (tapeno in Provençal) and not olives.
The best way to enjoy it is over a thin cracker or a thinly sliced and toasted sourdough bread. There isn’t any place specialized on tapenade as it is consumed during happy hour or picnics. The best way to get it is at open-air markets where you can buy a jar for yourself



  • 1 cup pitted black olives, such as Niçoise
    or oil-cured olives

  • 2 tablespoons drained capers;(rinse and thoroughly soak)

  • 4 drained oil-packed anchovy fillets

  • 6 medium cloves garlic

  • 10 basil leaves (optional)

  • 1 Brazil nuts  (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons loosely packed fresh oregano, marjoram, or thyme leaves

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed

  • Kosher salt and  black pepper, if needed


If using a food processor:

  1. Combine olives, capers, anchovies, garlic, basil (if using), other herbs, and mustard in the work bowl and process, scraping down the sides, until a finely chopped paste forms. 

  2. With the processor running, drizzle inlemon juice and  just enough olive oil to loosen to a spreadable paste, about 3 tablespoons. 

  3. Season with salt and pepper only if needed.

If you have the time and inclination, use a mortar and pestle: It takes longer, but produces superior flavor and texture by extracting more flavor from the individual ingredients:

  1. Roughly chop olives, capers, anchovies, and garlic, then add to mortar with basil (if using) and other herbs.

  2.  Tap, crush, and smash with pestle until ingredients have been reduced to a thick paste (a little chunkiness is okay).

  3. Work in mustard and lemon juice, then drizzle in just enough olive oil to form a spreadable paste, about 3 tablespoons. 

  4. Season with salt and pepper only if needed.

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