Do you have any food addictions? To those things that never get old and always surprise you with how damn yummy they taste every single time? Classic Tapenade is one of my all-time addictions. You know how some of you go nuts for Nutella and spread that stuff on everything? That’s me with Tapenade. Especially when I make it my own way and exactly to my liking 😋
CLASSIC TAPENADE, A MEDITERRANEAN STAPLE
I come from Italy and have known Tapenade in one form or another for my whole existence. But I know that to some people outside of the Mediterranean, the idea of an olive-anchovy-capers spread/condiment is like “Whaaaat?!” But I assure you that the whole concoction of intense flavors, which on paper might sound like a recipe for foul breath and a life of singletude, is in fact a stroke of genius.
Even though the Tapenade we all know today is a Provençal recipe, condiments made with olives and anchovies have been a regular staple in Italian cuisine for thousands of years, dating all the way back to ancient Rome. Imagine! The word Tapenade comes from Tapenas, Occitan for “Capers“. So, my guess is that the good people of Provence had the great idea of adding capers to a tried-and-true ancient olive-based recipe. Like I said: Genius!
HOW TO MAKE TAPENADE
It’s so easy to make Tapenade at home; I never understood why anyone would buy it. Once you source the right ingredients, you can’t go wrong. Then it’s a matter of adjusting and tweaking the amounts to please your palate. I like my food absolutely flavorful (duh!), so I go for intense and rich when it comes to taste. Here’s your shopping list for a Classic Tapenade.
- Black Olives (Niçoise if you can find them; I’m using Kalamata)
- Anchovies (leave out if you are vegan)
- Black Pepper (leave out if you are following the Autoimmune Protocol)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
I know some recipes also call for Basil, and it goes perfectly with all the other ingredients, so go ahead and add it without fear. I personally leave it out to let the thyme stand out more.
DUMP, PULSE, EMULSIFY
If you have been following my blog, you know that I’m fond of simple recipes that call for simple techniques. The original technique for Tapenade involves mortar and pestle, just like the original Pesto recipe. Go ahead and try that, if you like, while I take advantage of my beloved food processor
The prep work takes about 5 minutes with just a few easy steps:
- If you use fresh thyme, which I highly recommend, you’ll have to separate the leaves from the stems and discard the latter
- Peel the garlic, but no need to chop it
- Peel the zest off the lemons and squeeze out the juice
- You’ll buy the olives already pitted, so no work there at all
Now you just dump all the ingredients except the olive oil in your food processor. Pulse 4-5 times until coarsely chopped. Then trickle in the olive oil to emulsify the Tapenade. Et voilà! As they say in Provence.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE CLASSIC TAPENADE
What do I always say? If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a thousand pictures. Watch how easy it is to make Tapenade from scratch. Remember to leave out anchovies if you are vegan. Skip the black pepper if you are following the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP).
And here is the full recipe for you. Let me know if you try it and if you make any changes. I’m always curious about how people personalize recipes to their specific taste. Enjoy!!
- 2 cups black olives pitted
- 4 – 6 filets anchovies
- 1.5 tbsp capers drained
- 2 cloves garlic large
- 1 lemon large, zest and juice
- 1 – 2 tbsp thyme leaves
- ½ cup olive oil extra virgin
- black pepper to taste (leave out for AIP)
- take thyme leaves off the stems and discard the stems
- peel the garlic cloves
- peel the zest off the lemon
- juice the lemon
- place all the ingredients in your food processor, except for the olive oil
- pulse a few times until coarsely chopped
- through the hole in the lid, trickle in the olive oil and keep the food processor running
- turn off the food processor and enjoy!
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