Break out all the crostini for this easy Three Olive Tapenade, a deliciously salty appetizer that no one is able to get enough of!
The perfect make-ahead appetizer, Three Olive Tapenade is simple to make and a wonderful way to start any get-together! Using three types of olives plus capers creates a melody of salty, briny flavors that is complimented by adding garlic, roasted red peppers, lemon, and herbs, for an appetizer that comes together in a few minutes and that the crowd will go wild for.
Olive My Love
My family and I are olive lovers and have yet to meet an olive we didn’t love. While my kids weren’t super sold on the looks of this olive tapenade, once they taste-tested it for me they were hooked! There is such a delightful salty boldness to this tapenade and when paired with any type of bread or crostini, makes for a really perfect bite. We always include this on a charcuterie board because when paired with cheeses, nuts, and a variety of crackers it’s without a doubt the most amazing thing ever! Tossed with pasta or stuffed in chicken, Three Olive Tapenade is more versatile than you think!
Other Recipes to Serve with Three Olive Tapenade
- Have you tried olives with chicken? Chicken Mirabella is an amazing, sweet, and salty dish that is the perfect segue from tapenade!
- Greek Layered Dip is a wonderful addition to any appetizer table or charcuterie board. The fresh vegetables, creamy hummus, and salty olives are a perfect light starter that leaves plenty of room for more food.
Olives: As the main star of this dish, green olives (with or without the pimento), Kalamata olives, and black olives are a must-have. You will also need a jar of capers which are usually found right by the olives in most grocery stores.
Produce: Garlic, red pepper, parsley, and basil are needed for this dip. If you want to save time, you can pick up canned/jarred roasted red pepper instead. You will also need lemon juice, either freshly squeezed or bottled.
Olive oil: Pick your favorite extra virgin olive oil to use in this tapenade.
How to Make Three Olive Tapenade
STEP ONE: The olives and the capers should all be drained to start. Add all the olives, capers, garlic, and roasted red pepper to a food processor and pulse a few times.
STEP TWO: Add the herbs, olive oil, and lemon juice to the food processor and continue to pulse.
STEP THREE: Once the olives are the size you prefer, about 1/8-1/4 inch in size, scrape the tapenade into a medium bowl and serve or refrigerate covered, until you are ready to serve.
Tips for Success
- The three olives blended together are absolutely delicious but if you prefer to use only one type of olive that is just fine! Make sure you have a total of around 19 ounces of whatever olive you choose to use.
- To make roasted red peppers: Cut red bell pepper into quarters and remove the stem, seeds, and membrane. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the red pepper on the baking sheet and roast it for about 30 minutes, or until the pepper slices are wrinkly and browned. Remove the peppers from the oven and put them in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow them to steam. Once cooled, remove the skins and the peppers are now ready to be used.
- Three Olive Tapenade stores well and for a good amount of time! Keep the tapenade in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, for constant, happy snacking.
What does tapenade mean in Italian?
Tapenade is a provincial dish, meaning a “country dish” rather than a sophisticated “city dish”, that is made with chopped or pureed olives, capers, anchovies, and olive oil. While anchovies are a traditional ingredient that provides more of a salty punch, the recipe above leaves the anchovy out for a great vegetarian dish. A tapenade is usually eaten as an appetizer but is also simply amazing in sandwiches and other main dishes.
What does olive tapenade taste like?
As the main ingredient, olive tapenade tastes like the type of olive or olives, you are blending. Olives taste delightfully salty and the addition of capers gives the tapenade a salty, briny flavor, while the red pepper introduces a touch of sweetness. The herbs and lemon brighten the dish and the acid is a great balance to all of the salt.
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*This post was originally posted on 04/04/2013.
- 7 ounces kalamata olives drained
- 5.75 ounces green olives drained (with or without pimentos)
- 6 ounces black olives drained
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 roasted red bell pepper roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon parsley roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon basil roughly chopped
- 3 teaspoons lemon juice
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- Put the olives, capers, garlic, and red pepper into a food processor.
- Pulse in 1-second intervals 10 times and then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the herbs, lemon juice, and olive oil and pulse another 10 times or so, stopping in the middle to scrape down the sides of the bowl. You want the pieces to be 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch in size so you can see all the colors of the olives and peppers.
- Transfer to a dip bowl and serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- All olives should be pitted!!
- Measurements are for about 1 cup of each type of olive.