Green Tapenade, an Easy Appetizer or Bruschetta Spread


Green Tapenade, an Easy Appetizer or Bruschetta Spread


Mediterranean French “Tapenade” is classically a mixture of minced or ground olives seasoned with capers, olive oil, and sometimes anchovies. It takes its name from “tapenas,” the Provençal word for capers. Mixtures of mashed olives and capers have been prepared in the Mediterranean since ancient Roman times, reportedly back then as a way to make use of the crushed olives and capers stuck at the bottom of the amphoras they were shipped and stored in. Tapanade traditionally is spread thinly on bread as an appetizer, especially to accompany wine. Here is a simple version made with green olives.


Both olives and capers can be somewhat salty, since salt is part of what preserves them. If a less salty spread is desired, the olives and capers can be rinsed briefly in running water in a sieve.


The recipe serves eight to ten people as an hors d’oeuvre or appetizer. Offer thinly sliced baguette, lightly toasted as for “bruschetta,” or spread on crackers or pieces of flatbread. A cold Sauvignon Blanc or Provençal rosé will pair with this dish.


1 cup pitted, non-stuffed green olives (rinsed if lower salt wanted)

3 tablespoons capers, drained (rinsed if lower salt wanted)

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

3-inch length of green part of 1 green onion, optional


Using a cutting board and a chef’s knife, or a small food processor, or a mortar and pestle, finely mince the olives, capers and green onion, if used. Stir in the olive oil.


Transfer to a bowl to serve, accompanied by toasted bread, crackers, or flatbread. Alternatively, spread the tapenade thinly on the toasts and place on a platter to pass around for serving.


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