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Anchovy tapenade recipe

Anchovy tapenade recipe

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Classic Mediterranean dish using black olives, anchovies and capers. This dip is great with toasted pitta bread or crusty bread.

78 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 400g (14 oz) whole, pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 (50g) tin anchovy fillets, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

MethodPrep:5min ›Ready in:5min

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

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(70)

Reviews in English (55)

Delicious and simple !!!!-28 Dec 2013

by Katherine

The key to this recipe is rinsing the kalamatas and the anchovies really well. To the person who said it doesn't look pretty: I suggest that you present it with a thin layer of bread crumbs sprinkled over the top of it. Or, use cookie-cutters (stars, hearts, lighthouses, whatever) to cut shapes out of mozzarella or provelone slices to place on top of it. More generally, I think this is better suited to being offered as a canape (read: served already spread on the slices of bread). I agree that the general public might not choose to test a bowl of black mushy stuff. Plus, a little goes a long way; someone unfamiliar with tapenade might try a huge heaping tablespoon on a tiny piece of bread and be overwhelmed.-09 May 2004

by SINGLEDADCANCOOK

Enjoyed this very much, have made several times with a little change, I use 1-1/2 cups Kalamata Olives, 1-1/2 cups canned black olives (cuts the saltiness), about 1 tbsp of lemon juice and 1 tsp of lemon zest, good dash of black pepper and follow the rest of the ingredients, coarse chop in food processor, slowly adding the Olive Oil till the right consistency, and serve on French bread or crackers.Keeps well. Stir & allow to approach room temp before serving.-30 Nov 2005


How to make the perfect tapenade

W hile there is still a little light left in the evenings, it's only right and proper to embrace every last opportunity to sit out a while with a well-chilled drink – heaven knows there will be time enough to huddle round the fire with a warming cup of tea once autumn girds its loins in earnest.

And, just as tea needs biscuits, a stiff drink demands nibbles. Roasted nuts are always a winner, of course, and an offensively cheesy crisp rarely fails to please, but to really string out that holiday feeling, you can't get much more Mediterranean than tapenade.

This Provençal favourite is the perfect drinking companion, as it's a combination of the saltiest ingredients you could imagine – great with a delicate, pale pink local rosé, yes, but also an unimpeachable pairing with a gin and tonic or, of course, a pastis.

Though the principal ingredient is olives, the French word comes from the Provençal name for caper buds, tapeno. The story goes that, in ancient times, these would have been preserved in amphoras of olive oil, to re-emerge, when required, as a pungent mush – the origins of the modern tapenade.

This is why, perhaps, the authors of the book Provence Cookery School inform their readers that, though "everybody thinks of it as an olive dip, [tapenade] is in fact a caper sauce". Call it what you like, I say, as long you make it right.


  • Anchovies – use anchovy fillets in olive oil. They are plump and juicy, and the right level of saltiness. If you aren’t a fan of anchovies, use a small tin of tuna as an alternative. If you like punchy flavours but no anchovies this vegan puttanesca pasta salad is a delicious alternative.
  • Tomato sauce – use this pizza sauce recipe, shop bought pizza sauce, or passata.
  • Dough – Homemade Dough or if you are in a hurry, yeast free dough for pizza in under 30 minutes.
  • Mozzarella – Use fresh mozzarella rather than grated, it will melt better. Here I have used bocconcini (small mozzarella balls), you can also use baby bocconcini.
  • Olives – black olives or kalamata olives work best on this pizza.
  • Capers – I use capers in vinegar, but capers in brine or salted capers also work – make sure to rinse them before use.
  • Fresh Basil – adds a lovely fresh and fragrant touch to the pizza, the sweetness cuts through the saltiness from the other ingredients.
  1. Make garlic oil.
  2. Roll out pastry.
  3. Spread with tomato sauce.
  4. Drizzle over garlic oil.
  5. Top with black olives and capers.
  6. Top with mozzarella and dried chilli flakes and bake.

Olives, capers, red onion, herbs such as basil and oregano.

Some say the name for the pasta sauce originated in brothels, as a quick meal to cook between clients others say it is named after the aromatics, the pungent scent of anchovies, capers and olives smelling like a mid 20th century prostitute. Others believe it was invented in a restaurant when some customers asked the owner to make them something out of whatever ingredients he had left.

The Italians use them when making pizza sauces, and also use them in vinaigrettes or in dips such as Bagna Cauda.

Add a couple of anchovies to lamb dishes, make some tapenade (which is made with olives and capers too), or add to pasta dishes.


Anchovy and caper tapenade roast beef

Finely chop the anchovies in a food processor with the capers, mustard, herbs, garlic and vinegar. With the motor running, add 15ml (1tbsp) olive oil until combined.

Untie the topside and trim away any excess fat. Make a deep cut along the length of the beef to create a pocket. Spread half the anchovy mixture inside the cut. Fold the meat back over and tie at intervals with string.

Heat remaining oil in a flameproof roasting tin or dish and brown the meat well on all sides. Cook at 220°C (200°C fan) mark 7 for 25min for medium-rare (see beef tips).

Spread a little of the remaining anchovy mixture over the meat and return to the oven for 5-10min. Remove from the dish and leave to rest for at least 10min (see beef tips).

Blend the flour into the pan juices and cook over a low heat on the hob for 1min, stirring. Remove from the heat and whisk in the stock and wine (see beef tips). Bring to the boil and bubble for 10min or until reduced by half. Adjust the seasoning - but remember that anchovies are salty, so don't add too much salt.


Related Video

Very good - used as an appetizer on toasted sourdough bread at a Christmas party. Used anchovy paste instead of fresh anchovies but otherwie kept the same recipe. Tasty.

Very tasty! It was missing a flavor though, so I added some parsley and a little lemon juice and that fixed it right up.

Very pleasant on toasted french bread and some wine.

I use it to marinate chicken (without the tuna)- then sautee it. Yummy mediterranean twist!

It's great, but my old Julia Childs' version from Vogue Food (sometime in the 70's)also called for Sesame Tahini, but since I have lost the recipe, I'm not sure how much. Do you have a reprint of that recipe. Thanks.

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What you need for this Tomato Salad

Here’s what you need – this includes the ingredients for making the olive tapenade from scratch:

Really, the only key thing that matters in the above is JUICY RIPE TOMATOES!! You could just slice them, sprinkle with salt, pepper and olive oil and it’s STILL knock-your-socks-off good!

Anchovy? I get it, not everyone likes anchovies. You can leave them out. If so, add another teaspoon of capers instead.

What is tapenade?

Tapenade is the French name for an intensely savoury, salty paste made of olives, capers, anchovies, garlic and olive oil, usually associated with Provence in the south of France. Other Mediterranean countries have similar preparations, but we’re making the French version here.

It’s typically used as a condiment, a dip or a spread. In our case, we’re using it as a kind of dressing or “pesto” as it goes so well with fresh tomatoes.

And it is literally a dump-and-blitz job (I use my NutriBullet here).

We do make more tapenade than we need because it’s impractical and more difficult to make small quantities of tapenade. But having leftovers is a bonus with this recipe because tapenade is wonderfully versatile and I provide suggestions for uses later in the post. You can never have too much!

Hope you enjoy! – Nagi x


Provençal Olive Tapenade

[Editor’s Note: To celebrate the lingering summer season, we’ve invited Anna Watson Carl, a NYC-based freelance writer and private chef, to share one of her favorite recipes from the south of France. Originally published on her popular Yellow Table blog, this recipe is from Anna’s days lending a hand at Cuisine Provençale.]

Right after college, I had the amazing good fortune to spend six months in Aix-en-Provence, the most charming little town in the South of France. I took classes at a local university, but mostly I was there to learn about the food. I lived in a little basement apartment at the top of the steepest hill I’ve ever climbed in my life – right across the street from Paul Cezanne’s former atelier – with a tiny kitchen that had a toaster oven, a mini fridge, a hot plate, and exactly zero counter space. Not exactly ideal cooking conditions, but somehow, inspired by the colorful piles of fresh produce, seafood, olives, and herbs at the outdoor markets, I managed to cook nearly all my meals at home. I even bought a little pull cart so I could shop like a French grandma, and haul my goodies up the hill to my apartment.

During those days in Provence, I became friends with Madeleine and (her then-husband) Erick Vedel of Cuisine Provençale. They ran a cooking school and B&B in Arles, and I volunteered to help out several weekends just to learn more about Provencal cuisine. We made all sorts of beautiful dishes that I still love to this day: tian, a brightly-flavored roasted veggie dish with eggplant, zucchini, tomato, and potatoes, daube d’agneau, a rich lamb stew, and my favorite, la tapenade, the ubiquitous olive-caper-anchovy paste used in lieu of butter on bread throughout Provence.

I remember watching Erick make the tapenade and taking note of all his useful tricks: like rinsing the olives to cut down on the salty taste, and grating the garlic clove over fork tines into lemon juice to cut down on the pungency. I remember being shocked to see that anchovies literally melt when heated in olive oil. But most of all, it was the taste of the tapenade – the perfect blend of salty-earthy-herbal – that blew me away. Words won’t do it justice: just try it for yourself. Go out and buy some good olives (not in a jar, please!!) and any ingredients not already in your pantry. Pull out your food processor and whizz away! This takes 10 minutes to make and it lasts 2 weeks in the fridge. I love serving it with crostini and goat cheese and really pale Provençal rosé. It’s also delicious on fish or roasted chicken or on a roasted veggies sandwich with goat cheese. Basically, it’s just a great thing to have around.

Le Tapenade (adapted from Erick Vedel of Cuisine Provencale)

1 pound good quality black pitted olives (preferably Kalamata)
1 large garlic clove, peeled
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4 to 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 anchovy filets (salt-cured, from a can or jar)
2 tablespoons capers
Pinch of bay leaf, ground into a powder
Fresh thyme leaves (about 1 tablespoon)

2. Prepare the garlic puree: squeeze the lemon juice on a small plate with a sprinkle of salt. Take a sharp pronged fork and, holding the prongs flat on the plate, grate the garlic clove back and forth over the tips of the prongs. This will produce a fine puree, lightly cured by the acid of the lemon juice. (This same technique is great for taking the bite out of raw garlic in vinaigrettes or purees.)

3. Prepare the anchovies: Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small frying pan over medium high heat. Add your anchovy filets and stir with a fork, lightly mashing the filets to dissolve them in the oil. Let bubble slightly for just a moment. Remove from the flame and add the pureed garlic. Return to the heat for just 30 seconds remove and let cool slightly.

4. Add the drained olives, capers, anchovy mixture, the remaining olive oil, bay leaf powder, and fresh thyme to a food processor. Pulse until smooth, gradually adding the remaining olive oil as needed.

5. Serve room temperature with toasted slices of bread and fresh goat cheese with pre-dinner drinks. This mixture is also delicious on roasted fish or chicken. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Anna Watson Carl is a Manhattan-based freelance food and travel writer, private chef, and the author of The Yellow Table blog. Her work has appeared in TIME, WSJ. Magazine, Food & Wine, New York, Travel + Leisure, and Anthology. An avid francophile, Anna gets her fill of croissants, crémant, and raw milk cheeses (not necessarily in that order!) on her yearly visits to France.


Our Best Anchovy Recipes Deliver Deep, Rich Umami Flavor

Eva Kolenko

Whether they’re the star of a dish or the unexpected secret ingredient, anchovies make a flavorful, briny, savory addition to all kinds of dishes. There are so many different ways to enjoy the little fish: if you can get your hands on fresh anchovies, try deep-frying, marinating, or grilling them pick up a container of already marinated anchovies, such as Spanish boquerones, for an elegant tapa or salad topping or sneak the oil-cured fillets into everything from pasta to steak—it’ll have all your guests asking “What did you put in this?” or if you’re anchovy-shy, start with a tube of anchovy paste and add a bit to salad dressing, pasta, pizza, or soup for an indefinable salty tang. Whichever form of anchovies you choose to work with in the kitchen, it’s the best kind of lily-gilder. Here, our best anchovy recipes that all have that certain je ne sais quoi.

Turkish Steamed Anchovies and Tomatoes (Hamsi Bugulama)

Turkish Steamed Anchovies and Tomatoes (Hamsi Bugulama)

Marinated Anchovies with Candied Citrus, Pickled Raisins, and Chile

Chef Giorgia Goggi, a self-­proclaimed anchovy lover, marinates her own fillets and sun-dries raisins from local grapes to make this delicate sweet-sour dish. Store-bought marinated anchovies work perfectly well, and when they’re soaked in the dish’s pickling liquid, even grocery-store raisins will take on a juicy plumpness. Get the recipe for Marinated Anchovies with Candied Citrus, Pickled Raisins, and Chile »

Pecorino, Parsley, and Anchovy Sandwiches

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Pissaladière

The layer of onions on a proper pissaladière should be half as thick as the crust. The sweetness contrast nicely with the briny anchovy fillets and niçoise olives on top. Get the recipe for Pissaladière » Rumor has it that pasta puttanesca–literally “whore’s pasta”–was a quick and easy dinner of choice among Neapolitan working ladies, but the dish’s salacious history is unlikely. Get the recipe for Classic Spaghetti Puttanesca »

Lamb Chops with Mint Salsa Verde

Salsa verde, a Mediterranean condiment flavored with anchovies, capers, and herbs, partners nicely with seared, medium-rare lamb chops. Get the recipe for Lamb Chops with Mint Salsa Verde »

Crab Gratin with Anchovies and Västerbotten Cheese

This Swedish gratin of shredded crabmeat is traditionally made using Västerbotten, a salty aged cows’ milk cheese, but parmesan works well as a substitute. This recipe first appeared in our December 2013 issue along with Corey Arnold’s article Polar Harvest. Get the recipe for Crab Gratin with Anchovies and Västerbotten Cheese »

Grilled Octopus with Chickpeas, Tomatoes and Anchovy Vinaigrette

Tacolicious owner Sara Deseran first discovered this smoky salad, from Neil Fraser of LA’s Redbird, while cooking at the annual Sabores San Miguel festival in Mexico. The trick to getting tender, flavorful octopus is boiling it first, then marinating and grilling it.

Spaghetti with Anchovy Garlic Sauce

Spaghetti with Anchovy Garlic Sauce

Pan Bagnat (Provençal Tuna Sandwich)

Packed with tomatoes, local bell peppers, black niçoise olives, anchovies and tuna, pan bagnat is basically a salade niçoise on crusty bread. Get the recipe for Pan Bagnat (Provençal Tuna Sandwich) »

Caesar Salad

This classic salad is easy to make from scratch at home. Get the recipe for Caesar Salad »

Olive Oil-Braised Vegetables

This flavorful mix of broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and potatoes is braised in olive oil that’s been infused with rosemary, chile flakes, lemon, and anchovies. Get the recipe for Olive Oil-Braised Vegetables » Bistecca alla Fiorentina with Watercress and Pistachio Salad

Cannellini Bean Salad with Radicchio and Celery

Cannellini Bean Salad with Radicchio and Cele

Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Parsley Bagna Cauda

This hearty pork roast, rubbed with coriander, thyme, and allspice, gets a shot of brightness from a vinegary herb bagna cauda. Get the recipe for Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Parsley Bagna Cauda » This fresh take on the classic dish from Nice, France does away with the lettuce and pairs succulent wild salmon instead of tuna with crisp vegetables, briny olives, and an umami-packed vinaigrette made with garlic, anchovies, basil, and scallions. Get the recipe for Salmon Niçoise Salad with Garlic-Herb Dressing

Roast Chicken Pan Bagnat with Olive Tapenade and Goat Cheese

This hearty twist on the classic Provençal pressed sandwich pan bagnat combines black olive tapenade, goat cheese, roasted chicken, and thinly sliced vegetables. Make it at least two to three hours before you plan to serve it to really let the flavors marry. Get the recipe for Roast Chicken Pan Bagnat with Olive Tapenade and Goat Cheese »

Mallorcan Red Pepper Tart (Coca Mallorquina)

Marinated and roasted red peppers top a crunchy, olive oil-rich crust in this Mallorcan red pepper tart, also known coca mallorquina, from chef Fabio Trabocchi. Get the recipe for Mallorcan Red Pepper Tart (Coca Mallorquina) »

Stuffed Cherry Peppers (Peperoni con Acciughe)

Capers, tuna, and anchovies balance the heat in these small, stuffed cherry peppers. Get the recipe for Stuffed Cherry Peppers (Peperoni con Acciughe) »

Spaghettata di Mezzanotte (Pasta with Anchovies, Capers, and Tomato Sauce)

The after-party Italian tradition of spaghettata di mezzanotte—”midnight spaghetti”—gave birth to this lusty pasta dish tossed with anchovies, capers, tomatoes, and garlicky bruschetta crumbs. See the recipe for Spaghettata di Mezzanotte (Pasta with Anchovies, Capers, and Tomato Sauce) »

Combine Kalamata olives, capers, lemon juice, olive oil, anchovy paste, and pepper. Mix well.

Refrigerate and use within two weeks.


Tapenade Butter

Mix unsalted butter, sun-dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, anchovy fillets, and capers in small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer tapenade butter to sheet of plastic wrap. Using plastic wrap as aid, form tapenade butter into 1-inch-diameter log, wrapping plastic tightly around log. Chill tapenade butter until cold. DO AHEAD: Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated. Cut log crosswise into 1/4- to 1/3-inch-thick slices.

How would you rate Tapenade Butter?

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