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Tapenade Recipe-11100

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A spicy sauce from Provence that can be used to flavor a mayonnaise, as a dip for raw vegetables, as a sauce for hard-boiled eggs. Some restaurants in France used to pit olives and stuff them with this mixture.

Yield: Makes about 1½ cups


  • 24 to 30 soft black Italian or Greek olives, pitted
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves
  • 1½ tablespoons capers
  • ¼ cup or more olive oil
  • 14 to 16 anchovy fillets
  • 4-ounce can tuna in olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cognac


Put the olives, garlic, capers, and enough of the olive oil to make a paste in the container of a blender or food processor. Blend or process until smooth. Remove to a bowl. Put anchovy fillets, tuna, and their oils plus the olive oil in the container and blend to a paste. Then blend in the first mixture and the cognac to a thick purée. Taste for seasoning. It will not need salt, because of the anchovies, but it may need more cognac, some freshly ground black pepper, a dash of Tabasco, or a touch of thyme or summer savory.


Tapenade with Mustard: Add 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard to the tapenade, with the cognac.

Tomatoes Stuffed with Tapenade: Scoop out cherry tomatoes, drain, fill with tapenade, serve as a cocktail appetizer.

Tapenade Eggs: Arrange hard-boiled eggs, halved or not, on greens. Spoon tapenade over them.

Tapenade with Avocado: Fill the cavities of halved avocados with tapenade. Garnish with fresh parsley.

As a Sauce for Fish: Spoon tapenade over broiled fish fillets.

Tapenade Mayonnaise: Mix half mayonnaise and half tapenade. Use as a sauce for fish or a dressing for vegetable salads. Also good with cold roast veal or pork.

Seafood Tapenade: Crabmeat, shrimp, or lobster is greatly enhanced by tapenade mayonnaise in lieu of rémoulade or other sauces.

© 1981 James Beard

Note from Cookstr's Editors

Nutritional information is based on 12 servings, using 14 anchovy filets, 24 olives, and 1 tablespoon of cognac.


Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

75kcal (4%)
235mg (10%)
6g (10%)
1g (5%)
4mg (1%)
4mcg RAE (0%)
0mg (0%)
11mg (1%)
0mg (2%)

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