Tapenade is another of my favourite flavour boosters, although admittedly not much of a looker! Like romesco sauce and salsa verde, it is something I make to keep in my fridge to add instant jazz hands to a simple meal. These flavour-bombe sauces make the job of cooking dinner so much easier as so much of the flavour work has been done.

Tapenade is a full of salty, umami flavour. It is made with anchovies, olives and capers – all ingredients that add real guts to a meal. You can buy a jar. However, because it is easy to make and brings so much flavour to this dish, you can make your own using the recipe below.

You can use tapenade as a topping for baked fish or chicken, as a topping for crostini, stirred through pasta or boiled potatoes or spread on a sandwich. I love it dotted on tomatoes too. The saltiness makes it the perfect thing to dip into alongside a glass of rosé before dinner.

Tapenade ingredients

(makes around a ramekin full)

  • 200g (7 oz) stone-in black/purple olives, ideally Kalamata olives
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 2 anchovies
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • a lemon
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


You can now buy the equipment I use in this recipe through my shop. I’ve spent years testing my favourite bits of equipment so rest-assured that whatever I recommend is the best tool for the job and will give you great results without cluttering your kitchen with unused tools. I receive a small affiliate fee from Amazon if you buy via my link. The products don’t cost you any more. These small fees help me keep creating all the free content I share.

  • chef knife and board
  • food processor or Nutribullet or mortar and pestle
  • Microplane zester
  • citrus juicer

To make tapenade:

  1. Use the side of a knife to squish the olives then rip them to remove the stones. Discard the stones.
  2. Put all the olives, capers, anchovies and garlic in a food processor and pulse until you have a fine mush. Alternatively, crush in a mortar and pestle or chop finely with a knife.
  3. Add the olive oil and the juice and zest of half a lemon and mix or blend again. Taste and add more lemon juice and zest as needed. A jar will last for a week in the fridge

AD – I created this recipe as part of a trip to work with Mirabeau wine in Provence.

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