Black Olive Tapenade Tapenade Noire
Serves 6 to 8
This was the first tapenade I ever made, and it is still my go-to recipe. The best olives to use are the slightly wrinkled black olives from Nyons; or, if you have the patience for pitting teensy Niçoise olives, they’re marvelously oily and are the base for a wonderful bowl of tapenade. Other olives work well, too, but if they’re very salty, rinse them in cold water and pat them dry before using them.
One way to pit olives is to squish them under your thumb or use the side of a broad knife blade, with the blade held parallel to the table (i.e., not facing up), and rap it down briskly to release the pit from the olive meat. Be sure to wear a dark shirt or kitchen apron since the pits like to celebrate their liberté in a very “far-reaching” way.
Tapenade can be spread on Herbed goat cheese toasts. Pastis is the classic accompaniment, although I never developed a taste for the anise-scented
elixir that mysteriously turns cloudy when water is added to dilute its high-test taste and strength. I opt for chilled rosé.
1-1/2 cups (210g) black olives, pitted
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and squeezed dry
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
2 anchovy fillets
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
Sea salt or kosher salt (optional)
1. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the olives, garlic, capers, thyme, anchovies, lemon juice, and mustard a few times to start breaking them down.
2. Add the olive oil and run the food processor until the mixture forms a slightly chunky paste. The tapenade shouldn’t need any salt, but taste and add a sprinkle if necessary. The tapenade will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
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