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I first fell in love with tapenade when I was travelling through France years ago. At the time, olives were something I ate if I had to, but not something I especially sought out. But with one bite of tapenade from a French market, I was truly in love.

Since then, I have sought out tapenade in every French market I have visited (the winner is Voltaire, France along the Swiss border). Be it black olive, green olive, or a surprise mix with artichokes – this black gold simply vanishes in my presence. A few years back, I discovered how easy it was to make tapenade. The trick is allowing enough time for the spread to mellow – overnight will suffice.

The recipe below is my go-to fast tapenade recipe. It’s the one I’ve perfected over the last five years through trial and error, and while it may not be as authentic as tapenade found in a French marketplace (it lacks the anchovies!), it certainly never fails to please 🙂

Tapenade

Ingredients:
One can black or green olives
Capers in juice (about 2 tablespoons)
Garlic to taste (1/2 to 1 clove)
Juice from one-third to half a lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive oil

Directions:
In a food processor, blend the garlic, olives, and capers until coarse. Squeeze in the lemon juice and season with the salt and pepper. Continue blending, slowly drizzling the olive oil until your desired texture is reached.

Tapenade becomes tastier the longer it matures, so preferably chill overnight (although it can be served immediately!). Enjoy with a crusty baguette or fancy crackers!

– Catherine

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