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Basic Olive Tapenade

The sky is the limit for uses of olive tapenade such as for a condiment, dip, spread, or a topping for assorted meat dishes. The beauty of this basic tapenade recipe is that you can use whatever type of olive you like, but I do not recommend the bland black olives purchased in a can!

The flavor of the type of olive you choose will be your basic flavor base. If you wish to, you can switch your choice of herb and even add Dijon mustard, sun dried tomatoes, crushed red pepper flakes, or even finely shredded Parmesan to taste to enhance the olive of choice! One thing to keep in mind is that without the capers, it's not a 'tapenade' ;-)


  • 1 cup pitted olives of choice
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. non-pariel capers, drained
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


Place all ingredients except for the salt and pepper in a blender or food processor, blend until finely chopped, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.

By Deeli from Richland, WA

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May 18, 20110 found this helpful

Lovely, easy recipe but where do you get your non-pariel capers? They are normally quite costly. Would the slightly larger capers work as well?

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May 18, 20110 found this helpful

Don't like capers in any size Deeli, so I won't call this "tapenade" LOL And will sub. rice wine vinegar for the red wine vinegar, I'll like it that way. ;-)

Hugs, GG Vi

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May 19, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks for a giggle GG Vi ;-) And I've never thought to try rice wine vinegar with this recipe but will do so the next time I make it.

Sooz, I purchase the Safeway grocery store 'Select' brand. That brand costs almost half the price and also contains more ounces of capers. I don't know for certain but I would venture to bet that other grocery stores have their own brand too if you don't have a Safeway in your area.

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May 20, 20110 found this helpful

Sooz, here's a follow up for your size of caper question. I didn't know the answer because no matter whether a recipe calls for non-pariel or not I've always chosen to use non-pariel. Anyway, since I didn't know the taste answer I emailed a couple friends who are hard core chefs and both said there is such a small difference in flavor that it really doesn't matter. One even added, "Except for being a snob purposes." - LOL! ;-)

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May 20, 20110 found this helpful

Great recipe. Heat it up and it's killer over pasta.

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