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No Anchovy Tapenade

No Anchovy Tapenade


Tapenade, a popular dish from Provence, France, is usually made from olives, capers, anchovies, and olive oil. Capers (Fr. tapenas) gave this meal its name. The appetizer was so good that its fame spread through out the world. Tapenade is prepared very easily and is served with fine bread, toast, crackers, or even with vegetables and leaves of lettuce. Countless recipes of tapenade exist through out Europe.

I love tapenade very much, however my husband was not too keen on it due to the anchovies, which he dislikes. So to be able to enjoy this delicious appetizer I had to adapt and create a new recipe for everyone. That’s how I made my anchovy-less tapenade which was praised by not just my husband but the rest of my friends and family.

Traditionally, kalamata olives are used to craft tapenade, I added black olives from a can that can be bought in any grocery store. I have found that I like the taste of simple canned olives to any other olives when it comes to making this specific tapenade. Although, I tried my newborn recipe with capers and green olives and the results were both delicious. Any green olives work well, whether stuffed with carrots, almonds, hot peppers, or nothing at all. A very sparse amount of garlic needs to be used so that its taste is not too apparent and keeps you guessing. A bit of orange zest adds an interesting note of flavor to the spread. When blending you can make any consistency of tapenade you prefer from a very fine paste to a chunky mixture when the tapenade looks like sturgeon caviar.

I, personally, like to chop up my tapenade to a mildly course mixture where it will still spread but is not too creamy. I serve it before meals while I get the rest of the table ready because it can be made in advance and stored in a refrigerator. This makes it a delicious party appetizer to serve without adding extra kitchen time when cooking a different dish.




  • 1 can black olives, pitted (about 14 oz)
  • 2-3 tbsp green olives, pitted (olives stuffed with carrot, pepper are good)
  • 1-2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 very small clove of garlic
  • ½ tsp orange, tangerine, or lemon peel (orange or yellow part only)
  • 1 – 1 ½ tbsp good extra virgin olive oil 



Put all the ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor or blender. Blend to the desired consistency.

Add olive oil. Grind to a desired consistency.

Serve with bread, toast, bread or crackers.

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Cook with pleasure and enjoy the world!

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