Tapenade, a Mediterranean olive-based spread, is relatively easy to make and a tasteful, elegant addition to a plate of hors d'oeuvres or appetizers. It also pairs well with a variety of wines.
Tapenade is made primarily with pitted black olives. Though many kinds will do, the niçoise, kalamata or gaeta varieties are particularly well suited to tapenade. Canned black olives in brine are not recommended.
In addition to olives, most tapenade recipes also include finely minced garlic and capers. Some recipes substitute the capers for less piquant pine nuts. These ingredients are combined with olive oil and processed with the olives into a thick paste.
The distinct flavor of anchovy is common in Mediterranean cuisine, but not always appreciated by every palate. Tapenade recipes variously call for fresh anchovy filets or anchovy paste, but this ingredient can be omitted altogether.
Oregano, thyme, parsley and basil are frequently included in tapenade to refine the taste. Salt and black pepper are also added. When used, herbs are mixed into the base ingredients. Lemon juice is also sometimes added for tanginess.
As a spread, tapenade can be used in a multitude of ways. Common service is on crackers or squares of cheese. Tapenade also makes an elegant topping for crostini (baked bread) with goat or parmesan cheese.
- Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Krista
How to Make Easy and Inexpensive Olive Tapenade
Olive tapenade is a savory condiment that can be made at home at a fraction of the cost of the packaged kind....
How to Prepare Black Olives
Even though they are more ripe than their green counterparts, freshly picked black olives are much too bitter to eat and too...
Kalamata Olive Substitutes
The Kalamata olive, one of the most popular olives, is named for the Greek region of Kalamata. It is large, smooth and...
Ciabatta Sandwich Ideas
Ciabatta bread is a crunchy, crusty roll used for making sandwiches. This bread is also called "Italian slipper bread," as its rectangular...
Difference Between Olive Tapenade & Olive Bruschetta
Aside from both containing olive oil and olives, olive tapenade and olive bruschetta are two very different, though complementary, appetizers. Olives are...
Recipe for Olive Tapenade With Goat Cheese
When preparing olive tapenade with goat cheese it is likely best to start with the tapenade. Get the recipe for olive tapenade...
Recipe for Olive Tapenades With Feta Cheese
Olive tapenades with feta cheese are a great dish that combines rich flavors and wonderful textures into something everyone can enjoy. Get...
How to Make Tapenade for a Picnic
Ingredients you'll need for making an olive-based tapenade for your picnic meal and combining ingredients; learn this and more in this free...