Minimal effort, high reward
I love having a few “super impressive – but nearly zero effort went into this – dishes” in my back pocket to bring to gatherings. Mostly because I love delicious food, but also because I appreciate having my ego fluffed while doing the bare minimum (the person that replenishes the chip bowl will always be a hero in my eyes). This Olive Tapenade fits the “super impressive, minimal effort” description to a T. It’s the kind of dish that you can spend less than 10 minutes on, but will always be met with “oohs” and “ahs” and “oh, you fancy!” comments from anyone who eats it at said gatherings.
This Olive Tapenade combines the briny umami of green and Kalamata olives with a punchy hit of citrus, garlic, and red pepper that seems to go well with just about everything it’s paired with.
What to serve this Olive Tapenade with
While I love eating this Olive Tapenade with a simple baguette or flatbread, it’s also a fantastic way to amplify and elevate so many other dishes.
I love to use this recipe in my Pasta with Olive Tapenade, a rich and hearty meatless dish that even the most carnivorous eaters will gladly go veg for the evening for. Another favorite way that I love to serve this dish is with thick and tangy labneh cheese and garlic roasted cauliflower (recipe coming soon!). If you find yourself making this Olive Tapenade on repeat and want to stuff it into everything (because it’s just that good), I can vouch that it’s really lovely packed into sandwiches (muffuletta anyone?), tossed in salads, as a topper for chicken breasts and pork roasts, and unreasonably good on eggs.
What tools do I need to make this recipe?
- A food processor
- A chefs knife (optional for pit safety check)
- Measuring cups and spoons
- A citrus zester/microplane
Are you looking to upgrade to your cooking tools or replenish your pantry? Check out my kitchen tools shop page and pantry staples shop page to find my must-have kitchen tools, pantry items, and other Whip & Wander favorites.
A note for special diets
This Olive Tapenade is grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and friendly for Paleo, Low-Fodmap, Whole30, and Keto diets. The net carb count for a generous 1/4 cup serving is only 6 grams.
This Olive Tapenade is a fancy, yet easy, appetizer that takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. This recipe fits Paleo, Whole30, Low-FODMAP, and Keto diets.
- 1 1/2 cup pimento stuffed green olives
- 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 2 tbsp non-pareil capers
- 1/4 cup flat leaf Italian parsley
- zest of 1 large lemon (about 3 tbsp)
- 2 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil (may sub 2 cloves + 2 tbsp olive oil)
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
- I like to start by doing a quick safety check on the kalamata olives for remaining pits by slicing each one in half before adding to my food processor. Although I purchase olives that have been labeled pre-pitted, I almost always find one olive in the bunch that still has it’s pit (no matter what olive bar I buy them from). Though this is an additional step, its totally worth the extra couple minutes because you definitely don’t want a pit in your lovely tapenade.
- Add all ingredients to your food processor and pulse on your lowest setting until the mixture is chunky and resembles gravel. My machine has three settings low, high, and manual pulse. I like to use the latter so that I am literally just giving the mixture a series of quick pulses like flicking a light switch off and on until it’s reached the desired consistency. If you prefer a smoother, spreadable tapenade you can pulse for longer, but I like mine to be quite gravelly.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Serving Size: 1/4 cup
- Calories: 122
- Sodium: 1145 mg
- Fat: 12 g
- Carbohydrates: 6 g
Keywords: Olive Tapenade