Published Categorized as Entrees, Recipes

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Tapenade is a Provencal recipe, invented in 1880, in Marseille, in which come olives and capers (tapena in Occitan, hence its name).

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There were spreads and sauces made with crushed olives and olive oil in Greece, Italy, Spain, North Africa and the Mediterranean from the classical period. In Catalonia, for example, they use arbequines olives but no capers for olivada(olivada comes from the Catalan oliva). This is a spread for which there are references in Latin, Catalan and in the Middle Ages, and is still very popular.

Jean-Baptiste Reboul indicates that the tapenade was created in 1880 by the Chef Meynier, restaurant La Maison Dorée in Marseille. To fill halves of boiled eggs, he crushed the same weight (200 grams) of capers and black olives, then incorporatedanchovies and marinated tuna (100 grams each). This condiment composition was then beaten with a whip after addingspices, pepper, olive oil and two glasses of cognac.

The composition of black olive tapenade is now simplified. Olives became the first ingredient, followed by the capers andanchovies only to enhance flavor,  a clove of crushed garlic with olive oil and pepper are added sometimes.

The green tapenade is based on green olives. It is made by mixing them in equal shares, or with pine nuts or with almond powder. The presence of capers became facultative.

It can be enjoyed as a dip, especially as an aperitif or simply as a spread on bread or by dipping veggie sticks. But it can also be used as stuffing for poultry.

Recipe for black olive tapenade with capers

  • 200 g pitted black olives
  • 5 anchovy fillets in oil
  • 8 small capers
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil

Finely chop the garlic, then add in the blender anchovy fillets, capers, black olives and the oils until it turns to a smooth texture.

Recipe for green olive tapenade with tuna

  • 200 g pitted green olives
  • 2 anchovy fillets in oil
  • 1 can of tuna in brine
  • 8 small capers
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil

Finely chop the garlic, then add in the blender anchovy fillets, tuna in brine, capers, green olives and oils until the mixture is smooth and creamy.