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Compliments of Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Black Olive Tapenade

I finally got tired of paying big bucks to purchase black olive tapenade, which I love to use as a simple spread on whole grain breads, a dash of extra flavor in my tuna salad, or even a topping for baked potatoes. This recipe is a snap to make, which makes me wonder what took me so long to make it myself!

Want to learn more about olives and olive oils? You will love one of my favorite new books, a combination of information about great foods and recipes authored by an owner of Zingerman's, a local deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Pick up a copy of Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating: How to Choose the Best Bread, Cheeses, Olive Oil, Pasta, Chocolate, and Much More, by Ari Weinzweig. I guarantee that you will be salivating in minutes!

Special notes:
Be sure to use pitted olives and buy a tasty variety of traditionally processed olives like Kalamata from Greece.

If using a food processor, be careful not to overprocess – the tapenade should retain some texture from the olives and capers. Experiment with different varieties of olives.

  • 3/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/8 cup minced fresh parsley leaves (or scant 1 Tbsp. dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (only add if needed after final tasting)
  • 2 - 3 grinds of black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil


  • Combine all ingredients except oil and salt in a food processor.
  • Slowly add the oil and pulse, retaining some bits of olive and caper for texture.
  • Taste to adjust the seasonings if necessary.

Stored tightly covered in the refrigerator, this will keep well for a week or two. I only have a mini-food processor, but for those of you with standard
size processors, this recipe can easily be doubled.

Makes about 1 cup. Enjoy eating a very healthy traditional food while also saving money. Please write and tell me how you use black olive tapenade. I'll publish the list of ideas on my web site and in an upcoming Email newsletter.