Fast and Easy Olive Tapenade

I love making a quick appetizer to munch on while prepping the main course. What the heck is tapenade? That was my question the first time I had it as well. Wikipedia defines tapenade as a Provencal dish consisting of pureed or finely choppedĀ  olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil. (Don’t be afraid of the anchovies! They contribute an amazing saltiness this dish needs.) It is a popular food int he south of France where it is generally eaten as an hors d’oevre, spread on bread. We have used it inside a puff pastry as well. Olive tapenade is super fast, super easy and super flavorful! Trust me when I say a little goes a long way. This is the second time I’ve tried this recipe from Alton Brown – a genius in the culinary field. Each time, I’ve tweaked it a tiny bit so this version is my own with his inspiration.

Olive Tapenade quick and delicious

Look at all those delicious ingredients – so easy to prepare and mouthwatering already.

tapenade ingredients

This is going to be so easy! Just throw all the ingredients into a bowl or any mixing vessel and blast away with the immersion blender. You can use your food processor too if you want but you’ll find yourself constantly stopping to scrape the bowl and push everything back to the blades.

blending the olive mixture

ready to spread

I chose this recipe to use as my first appetizer because we had all these beautiful olives and even though this is a French influenced dish, it went perfectly well with my Italian themed homemade spaghetti sauce and my first ever Tirimasu. France and Italy are pretty close, right?

toasted french bread

Toast the bread. You know how to do that…

Quick and Easy Olive Tapenade

Serve the tapenade spread on toast, topped with mozzarella (those are NOT mini-marshmallows) and drizzled with Balsamic. Fantastic

Olive Tapenade Ready to Eat

Print Recipe
Fast and Easy Olive Tapenade
Topping toasted bread with anything is a great starter to any meal. These can be made just before beginning main course prep so you can snack away while cooking the rest of your meal. They also make a great appetizer for any get together, home or away, because there is little to no assembly required.
Quick and Easy Olive Tapenade
Course Appetizer
Cuisine French
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
cup
Ingredients
Course Appetizer
Cuisine French
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
cup
Ingredients
Quick and Easy Olive Tapenade
Instructions
  1. Drain the olives. You can rinse them if you prefer a bit less saltiness as these ingredients are all very high in salt. But I really like the strong flavors so I just drain the olives.
  2. In a deep dish or even a large cup, combine all ingredients. I used the cup that came with my immersion blender- the depth is necessary to avoid splattering Tapenade everywhere.
  3. Blend until all large chunks are gone. You will likely need to stop and scrape the sides of the cup or bowl. You want the consistency to be slightly chunky but easily spreadable.
  4. Transfer to a small serving bowl and you're done. This can be served with toasted or untoasted bread. I like the crunch of a toasted baguette.
  5. I also like to add chunks of fresh mozzarella and a drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar- partly for presentation purposes but also for flavor.
Recipe Notes

This makes a full cup of tapenade and it packs quite a punch so it can be used fairly sparingly.

To store the leftovers, put it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 7 days. It will not freeze well at all.

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