Tapenade is an olive paste.  There are a variety of ways to make it.  Here are a few I like…

This robust paste of olives and garlic is a must at any Provençale meal.  For a true Provençale flavor, use marinated olives from Provence or Greece (like Kalamata olives). Use the standard, canned black olives only in a pinch. 

·        3 cups black olives, pitted 

·        8 cloves garlic 

·        4-5 anchovy filets, or 1 tablespoon anchovy paste 

·        1 tablespoon capers 

·        2-3 teaspoons fresh basil 

·        1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme 

·        1/4 cup olive oil 

·        pepper to taste 

Put all the ingredients into the processor and buzz up to a rough paste. Use on hard-crust French. soft-crust rosemary sourdough, or any of the pita style flat breads for a real treat.

Here's another variation:

·        1 cup black olives, preferably oil-cured

·        6 anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained and chopped (1 tablespoon.)

·        2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped

·        2 cloves garlic, chopped

·        juice of 1 lemon

·        4-5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

·        2 tablespoons brandy or Cognac

·        slices of toasted baguette or little toasts


In food processor, chop olives, capers, anchovies, garlic, and lemon juice to form a paste. With the motor running, slowly add enough of the oil to form a spoon able mixture.  Stir in the Cognac or brandy. Place in a small bowl and spread on toasts as an appetizer.

And another:

1 clove garlic, chopped
1 3/4 cups whole, pitted Kalamata olives
1 (2 ounce) can anchovy fillets, rinsed
2 tablespoons capers
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons olive oil

Combine garlic, olives, anchovies, capers, thyme, rosemary and lemon juice in an electric blender.  Slowly drip the olive oil into the blender while you are blending the ingredients together.  Blend until a paste is formed.