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  • Diane Lawton

How to make the best Olive Tapenade in 10 minutes

Updated: Sep 9, 2020


Grade: Easy: Time: 10 minutes. Serves: 6 portions

Taste Test: Gorgeous, healthy, and better than any pate

Ever since I moved to Spain I have loved the taste of olives. It used to be the case that most good bars and cafes would serve a complimentary dish of olives if you ordered a drink. Each time I visit a new area of Spain I head to the markets to find the local olives. I had once enjoyed a special trip to Marcos in Jaen, during the first week of December. It is the beginning of the olive season. This paricular festival pays homage to the olive, which is central to the local economy. Jaén province covers more than 590,000ha and farmers look after almost 66m trees. Everything you need to know about olives in Jaen.

During the Coronovirus Emergency, Spanish olive farms, unlike olive producing regions elsewhere, are so far, managing to continue their business. Restrictions do not apply to olive oil producers or olive farmers in Spain, the estates, are working 'normally', under strict government guidelines.

Olives in Spain


Chopping board, sharp knife, food processor, kitchen paper, serving dishes


1 1/2 cups pitted olives

1 teaspoon anchovy paste or 2 anchovy filets, mashed with a fork

2 tablespoons capers (rinsed and drained on kitchen paper)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped parsley

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons lemon juice, aproximately from 1 lemon

1oz of brandy (optional)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Unsure of the conversion of measurements in different countries? Use this link.


Combine olives, anchovies, capers, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, brandy and approx. ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper into a food processor.

Pulse until coarsely chopped, but not a paste.

Drizzle in the olive oil and pulse a few times until you have a chunky paste.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and place in separate serving dishes for each person.

Serve with bread, or crackers or rice cakes. Or use as a salad garnish.

Black olive tapenade

Chefs Tips and Tricks

Cover with a lid and it will last 4 days in fridge. Or freeze in batches so its easy to defrost portions when needed.

Fun Facts

The average life of an olive tree is 300 and 600 years.

Olive trees take 15 years before they produce olives.

The oldest olive tree in the world is on the island of Crete. The tree is about 4,000 years old and is still producing fruit.

Olives are rich source of oils, minerals and vitamins A, E, K and B.

Virgin olive oil is one of #MaxLugavere's #GeniusFoods and his book is available on #Amazon #Barnesandnoble #Bookdepositry and #iBooks

More of my quickie recipes that take 10 minutes or less:

Aubergine snack attack

Tortilla Wraps with Avacado Pesto

Pan fried lamb cutlets

Omellete in a mug

Avacado smoothie

Oregano Pesto Sauce

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