Tasty Tapenade – a versatile summer dressing


Tapenade is a French olive paste and can be eaten as a dip, spread and as a dressing which is how we use it most in The Riverford Field Kitchen.  This recipe is great for sharing as a starter or light lunch.  It's so versatile - we serve it on a variety of vegetable dishes: with French beans and grilled leeks, tomatoes & watermelon salad and with new potatoes.

It will make more tapenade than you’ll need for one meal, but it’s not worth making less, and it keeps well for a few days in the fridge.


200g whole green olives (you can use black)

3 tbsp capers, well rinsed if packed in salt

2 anchovies, well rinsed if packed in salt, roughly chopped

1 fat clove of garlic, crushed

2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

Juice of ½ lemon

5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


Method using a food processor

Remove the stones from the olives with a pitter or a sharp knife.
Put in a food processor with the capers, anchovies, garlic and thyme, and whizz to a rough puree. Squeeze in the lemon juice and, with the motor still running, add the oil.

Method by hand
Pound the garlic, anchovies, capers and thyme together in a pestle and mortar until smooth, followed by the olives, leaving these slightly more chunky, then gradually add the oil and lemon juice, pounding between pours.

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