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Course: Sauces & Condiments
Keyword: Appetizers, Dips, Gluten-Free, Make-Ahead, Snacks, Tapenade


ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes
Yield: 1 to 1 1/2 cups
No dish delivers olivey goodness quite like the olive paste of Provence: tapenade. My version comes together in 5 minutes with the help of a handy food processor.
Now, I realize that innumerable permutations of this dish exist. I think the real secret is in creating not only a contract of flavors, but a contrast of textures. I do this b y using a combination of soft-flesh, easy-to-pit olives and firm-flesh, not-so-easy-to-pit olives. Super-soft olives, like, say, kalamatas, can often be pitted simply by rolling them around in a tea towel while exuding a bit of downward pressure. Tougher olives may just require a thwak from one of my favorite multitaskers: the bench scraper.
Traditionally, tapenade is made via mortar and pestle. But if you look to your food processor for labor relief, I, for one, won't tell.
This recipe first appeared in Season 9 of Good Eats.
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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  • 8 ounces pitted mixed olives
  • 2 anchovy fillets, rinsed
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 to 3 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Specialized Hardware

Food processor
ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes
Yield: 1 to 1 1/2 cups


  • Thoroughly rinse the olives in cool water. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process to combine, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture becomes a coarse paste, 1 to 2 minutes total. Transfer to a bowl and serve with chips or on a steak, or shaken with oil and vinegar for a dressing, or smeared on toast, or shaken into a martini.
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