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French Cuisine 101: Tapenade (easy starter) »


The tapenade (pronounced tah-puh-nah-d’) is a dish from the South-East of France (Provence), invented at the end of the 19th century around Marseilles. The name comes from tapena, which means “caper” in the Occitan language – the Occitan language was mainly spoken in the South of France and some parts of Northern Italy, where “oc” used to mean “yes”.

As always, there are several ways to make tapenade, and this is just the way I make it:

Black Tapenade

What you need (for 4 persons):

– about 1/2 lb (200 g) of black olives
– 8 capers
– a small can of anchovies (flat or rolled, it doesn’t matter, although rolled anchovies often already have capers, so it’s cheaper)
– one clove of garlic
– 3 big spoons of olive oil
– some bread

What to do:

– Crush everything together except the bread
– Use the tapenade as a spread: cut the bread into small slices and cover it with tapenade. Arrange the whole the way you want (you can also let your guests spread the tapenade on their bread).

Green Tapenade

What you need :

– 1/2 quantity of green olives (stuffed or not)
– 1/2 quantity of almonds (for 4 persons, it should be about 1/2 lb of each, maybe a bit more)
– some bread in addition to that

What to do:

– Crush it all together (except for the bread) and use the tapenade as a spread on small slices of bread.

Below are some pictures of the final result. Bon appétit!

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