Tapenade is an hors d'oeuvre or appetizer which comes from the Provençal area of France. Its name comes from the Provençal name for capers which are one of the main ingredients together with black olives, anchovies and olive oil.
It is an easy dish to make at home and can be made the traditional way with a pestle and mortar, or with a food processor. Either way it is simple to make and is very tasty. It can be flavoured with garlic, herbs, lemon juice and even brandy, it is entirely optional for you depending on what you want it for or to your own tastes. Why not try it with different flavours to see which you prefer.
It is basically a paste and usually spread on pieces of toast but can also be spread on crusty French bread, crackers or crudites, whichever you prefer. Tapenade is also used to stuff fillets for a main meal.
This is a delicious dish to add variety to your hors d'oeuvres table, or, if like me you fancy a snack, it is the perfect dish to have ready in your refrigerator!
225 g/8 oz black olives, pitted
4 oz/100 g anchovy fillets (use tinned)
225 g/8 oz capers
100 g/4 oz tuna fish (tinned and drained)
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cognac
Freshly ground black pepper and NO SALT! (Anchovies provide enough salt.)
The traditional way to make your tapénade is to pound the olives, the anchovy fillets, capers and tuna fish using a mortar and pestle.
You can of course do this, however, if you have a processor, just place the ingredients into this and mix on slow for a few seconds then add the mustard, the olive oil and the cognac and process again for a further few seconds or until it has formed a good smooth paste.
Place your tapenade in a serving bowl or dish and leave to cool in the refrigerator.
Serve with toasted French bread or with little herb crackers as I have done in the picture above.