February 23, 2009

Olive and Walnut Tapenade

I believe I first tasted homemade olive tapenade at Ranan's house here in Madrid. I was baffled by how delicious it was...and so impressed that he had made it himself. I had recently began buying it, but was determined to test out making it on my own. That was about three years ago and I have been making it semi-regularly ever since. There are some store-bought tapenades that I like better than mine, but not many, and none in Madrid. Although pitting olives is a bit more laborious than usually I prefer, the result is a spread with only two ingredients, far less salt and preservatives, and a much richer flavor. To me, it's well worth it. And perhaps, wherever you are, they sell the perfect olives pitted.

The spread is perfect to serve with artisan crackers as an appetizer, on pizza or sandwiches, in lasagna, or atop a salad. It is rather rich, so a little goes quite a long way.

Olive and walnut tapenade will last in a sealed container for about 5 days. If you plan to use it over a few days, a little extra olive oil helps preserve it better.

  • 1 cup natural, dark olives preserved in olive oil (I use Amanida Oro negras naturales from Corte in Callao, Madrid or something similar from the open market in LaLatina)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  1. If necessary, pit the olives.
  2. In a food processor, mix olives, walnuts, and olive oil. If more liquid is needed, use the juice from the olive jar.
  3. Serve at room temperature with a drizzle of olive oil.

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