Olive Tapenade (Vegan)

In a brave effort to host eight people for Sunday dinner at my apartment I tried to keep things as easy and make ahead as possible. With the oven full (and not to mention my apartment is 3 million degrees…with the fan on), there was no room or desire to make a hot appetizer.

I’m so glad you’re here because the tapenade is good. I mean really good…like “I could happily eat this with a spoon” good. It’s so good that my uncle, and fellow foodie, came over to me with his mouth full and more tapenade topped crackers in hand to ask for the recipe…you ask and it will be given!

There’s tons of recipes out there for tapenade, they’re all a bit different depending on the region it’s from, but the basics are the same – ground up olives and capers with olive oil and seasoning. But get this – most are not vegetarian or vegan because they have anchovies in it. I’m not a vegan but there is no way I’m adding nasty little preserved fishes to my delicious spread. I don’t really understand why you need the anchovies anyways, especially since there’s already a good amount of savoury flavours and (a lot of) salt from the olives and capers…..? If you like ’em though, then go for it!

I’ve shaken up the regular tapenade with the addition of sweet sun dried tomatoes and it was a WIN. When it’s done you have a salty, garlicky, lemony snack, spread or appetizer. It takes 10 minutes to whip up with the help of a food processor, and you can make it ahead! It actually tastes better if you make it a day or two before serving.

This is fun if you’re someone who likes to explore the olive counter at the deli, you can use any olive you like that’s in brine. And with so many different varieties you can mix different flavour combinations or make a few different spreads! To be honest, I wanted to cut down on prep time as I had a busy afternoon, so I cheated and bought already pitted black olives in a jar. BUT even though it says pitted I still checked them before throwing them into the food processor. If you get a pit in there, you’re going to have a bad time…and you may need to replace your food processor. Olive pits + food processor = broken food processor and complete despair.

It’s great served as an appetizer with crackers or bread, but it’s also super versatile. You can use it as a topping for hummus, salads, or cheese. It’s great on roasted potatoes or veggies, pasta or use it as a spread on sandwiches and wraps. It keeps in the fridge for up to 2 weeks so you can try it a few different ways!

Anyway you share it, this tapenade pairs really well with a good glass of wine (my unofficial ingredient)!

Olive Tapenade (Vegan)

  • 2 1/2 C Mixed Pitted Olives of your choice – such as Black Kalamata, drained
  • 2 Tbs Capers, drained (they’re like salty peas!)
  • 2 Tbs Marinated Sun Dried Tomatoes, drained
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp Oregano dried
  • 2 tbs fresh Basil Leaves 
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil, to taste and preferred consistency/texture

Add all ingredients, mins the olive oil to the bowl of your food processor.

Pulse once or twice and then slowly drizzle in olive oil. Pulse until you get desired consistency. For a chunky spread pulse up to 15-17 times, stopping to scrape down the bowl a few times. For a spreadable tapenade like mine, process until it’s almost a paste, stopping to scrape down the bowl a few times.

Garnish with extra olives and herbs. Store in air tight container for up to two weeks.