Mixed Olive Tapenade - and my winner of an olive oil tasting

March 5, 2011
Tapenade is so much better when you make it yourself!  And with this Mixed Olive Tapenade recipe, it's so easy there's no reason to buy that little jar at the grocery store.

Mixed Olive Tapenade

If you love olives, you'll flip for this mixed olive tapenade.  When you make your own at home, it tastes soooo much better than those you buy in a jar at the grocery store.  And I never knew tapenade was so super easy to make your own ... until a friend of mine and I took a one-day demonstration cooking class featuring olive oil.

I absolutely loved the class!!  The instructor made several different dishes using olive oil, and we got to sample each one - each paired with a different wine.  What's even better is we got to do an olive oil tasting!  Did you know that olive oils from different countries and regions taste distinctly different?  I sure didn't.  But, boy, do they ever.  It was really neat to get to taste the subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle, differences in the oils.  So ... we got a cooking demonstration, meal, olive oil tasting, and wine tasting all rolled into one.  Sweet!  For a wine lover and olive lover like me, it was an absolutely wonderful day spent with an absolutely fabulous friend.

For each dish the instructor prepared, she'd begin by having us taste several olive oils from the region whose oil she was going to use in the dish.  We'd dip small pieces of bread in each of the oils and taste to our heart's content.  My favorites ended up being from Italy.  The Italian oils were very mild and smooth tasting, with a little bit of fruitiness to them.  My absolute favorite was Colavita Extra Virgin olive oil - yuuummmmmy!  Though I must say - I really didn't like the oils from Spain at all.  The Spanish ones had a bit of a bitter taste (sorry, Spain!). 

Making Mixed Olive Tapenade
My absolute favorite - Colavita Extra Virgin from Italy.
We were treated to a salad with olive oil vinaigrette, mixed olive tapenade and tapenade bruschetta, fish poached in olive oil, and ... for dessert ... olive oil gellato.  What???  Yes, olive oil gellato.  I was very skeptical of the gellato.  I mean, ice cream whose main ingredient and flavor is olive oil?  I was thinking this will not be good at all.  To my surprise, it was actually quite tasty.  Maybe because it was made with the Colavita oil I love so much!  It's not something I'll ever make at home, or would just jump for joy to see on a restaurant menu, but it was an experience I'm glad I had - mainly because it was a combination you don't expect to see.  I like to try combinations you don't expect to see.

My favorite dish of the day was the mixed olive tapenade.

Naturally, then, I started making it myself at home.  The beauty of this mixed olive tapenade recipe is you can adapt it to suit your tastes.  I start with a mix of several varieties of olives - a country mix that includes kalamata and Queen, regular ol' manzanilla stuffed with pimentos, and black.  Throw them all in your food processor, like this:

Making Mixed Olive Tapenade
Lovely olive mix.

Don't like pimento-stuffed? - use something else.  Can't stand black?  Leave them out.  It's all up to you!  Next, toss in some capers.  The capers control the saltiness of the tapenade so, again, adjust to your taste.

Making Mixed Olive Tapenade
Capers - ready to go.
 Grate in the zest of one lemon.  The original recipe called for the zest of two lemons, but I thought that was too much.  I like a little lemon zing with my olives, not a little olives with my lemon.

Making Mixed Olive Tapenade
Lemon zestiness.

Add some parsley and give it all a good whirl in the food processor to chop and combine it, like this:

Making Mixed Olive Tapenade
It tastes way better than it looks!
 Drizzle in olive oil, pulsing the food processor a couple of times, until the tapenade is moist.  There you have it - wonderful homemade mixed olive tapenade in about 5 minutes flat.  Serve it up with some nice bread and enjoy!  

Check out these other tasty dips & spreads:
Mixed Olive Tapenade
Thank you for stopping by The Kitchen is My Playground. We'd love to have you back soon!

tapenade recipe, how to make tapenade, mixed olive tapenade recipe, homemade tapenade
Appetizers & Snacks
Yield: varies
Mixed Olive Tapenade

Mixed Olive Tapenade

Tapenade is so much better when you make it yourself! And with this Mixed Olive Tapenade recipe, it's so easy there's no reason to buy that little jar at the grocery store.
Prep time: 10 MCook time: Total time: 10 M


  • 1 (6.25 oz) jar pitted country mix olives
  • 1 (6 oz.) can pitted black olives
  • A couple spoonfuls of pimento-stuffed manzanilla olives
  • 1/2 of a 4 oz jar capers
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 T. fresh or dried parsley
  • extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Drain olives and capers; place in the bowl of a food processor. Add lemon zest and parsley; process a few seconds to chop and blend ingredients together.
  2. Drizzle in olive oil, pulsing occasionally, until tapenade reaches your desired consistency. It should be moist, but not runny.
  3. Serve with bread or crackers.
  1. You can use any combination of olives you like ... all green, all black, 1/2 & 1/2, the mix I use - whatever you like best!
  2. Capers control the saltiness, so adjust to taste.
  3. To make a tasty tapenade bruschetta, spread tapenade on baguette slices, sprinkle on some mozzarella or goat cheese, and top with a piece of sundried tomato and chopped fresh basil; broil until the cheese is melty.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Enjoy these other tasty bites from The Kitchen is My Playground ...


  1. Enjoyed the tapenade pizza with you last night---when are you going to post that recipe? And the bottle of wine was, also, fabulous!! Love you, girl and your cooking!

  2. great post, great tapenade, GREAT friend!

  3. Oh man, this makes me want to go to Italy! I'm so glad you found a great olive oil--its what takes cooking to the next level!

    Thanks for linking this up at the FBF hop. Hope to see you again next Friday! Have a great week!

  4. Mmmmm..thanks for the recipe. I'm serving it during the Super Bowl tonight! Used kalamata, black and manzanilla. I'll probably tweak it a little for next time, but it's very yummy for a first run! Thanks again! XOXO

  5. Your Tapenade looks like a great recipe. Thanks so much for sharing this awesome recipe with us at Full Plate Thursday!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen


I love your comments ~ I read and appreciate each and every one. When you choose to leave a comment, we collect and display your name, as provided by you. Clicking "publish" to submit your comment indicates your explicit consent for name collection. If you click the "notify me" checkbox {which is optional}, your e-mail is also collected. Clicking the "notify me" checkbox indicates your explicit consent for e-mail collection. Thank you so much for visiting The Kitchen is My Playground!

Blog Design: Tracimichele.com. Powered by Blogger.