Sundried tomato tapenade makes a tasty appetizer and is ready in just 5 minutes! This sun-dried tomato and capers spread is very versatile and can also be served with pasta, or as a filling for roast meat. Its gorgeous Mediterranean flavours will lift any meal!
Why You Should Try This Tapenade
This tapenade makes a fabulous appetizer (starter). It will be a star of any family occasion or gathering. You will especially enjoy it with a glass of lovely white wine.
It also tastes great with grilled or roast meat and pasta.
The tapenade can be made in advance and is great for using leftovers. Got a half jar of sundried tomatoes, olives and capers in the fridge? This super simple recipe is all you need to make the most of them!
For this delicious sundried tomato spread with olives, you will need:
- Sundried tomatoes – feel free to use either ones in a jar or dry-packed ones. When using sun-dried tomatoes in a jar, you don’t need to add any more oil to the paste. Sundried tomatoes are a popular pantry staple that has beautiful rich flavour and is full of important nutrients and antioxidants. If you’re a fan, you will also like this easy tomato pasta salad.
- Green or black olives – olives are the base of every tapenade. Use green or black ones, or mix of both. The flavour and colour of the spread will depend on the type of olives used. Green olives are saltier and tangier, whilst black olives are more subtle, tasting almost sweet. Olives are nutritious fruit, rich on monounsaturated fats (help to fight bad cholesterol), vitamins (E and A) and minerals (calcium, potassium).
- Capers – these delicious little flower buds add a little bit more saltiness to the dish. They are very rich, so remember less is more when adding them! Jarred capers are best for this recipe. You can rinse them under cold water if you prefer.
- Garlic – this classic French root vegetable is a must-have in this recipe. A clove or two will do perfectly well – use as much of it as you like! This humble vegetable has got many health benefits. Garlic has got antimicrobial and antiviral properties, which makes it good for your gut and immune system. It also reduces blood pressure and cholesterol, has got anti-inflammatory properties and helps prevent cancer and osteoporosis.
- Fresh lemon juice – Lemon juice (and lemons) are an infamous source of vitamin C and minerals such as potassium. Lemons have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and are great antioxidants. In this recipe, lemon juice pairs well with capers and olives and neutralises the garlic taste of the paste.
- Fresh parsley – this beautiful aromatic herb adds a sense of freshness to every dish. Did you know parsley is considered a superfood? It is rich on vitamins (A, C, K, folic acid), minerals, antioxidants, and its essential oils are great for our immune system, digestion, kidney health. Parsley also has antibacterial and antifungal properties, and is good for hormone balance. Finally, it is beneficial for heart health, blood vessels, eyes and bones.
- Anchovies - anchovies are a part of the original Provencal tapenade recipe, however, you can omit them if you wish to make the spread veggie-friendly. Use sparingly as they can be very salty; one or two fillets will do in this recipe.
- Chili flakes or fresh chili – add a pinch or two if you fancy a paste with a spicy ‘kick’. Check the level of hotness before adding them to the spread.
- Extra virgin olive oil – will help bind all the ingredients together. Add it only if using dry sundried tomatoes.
- Kalamata or Greek olives – feel free to swap the olives according to what is available to you. Keep in mind that different types of olives will give this spread different colour and flavours.
- Dry-packed sundried tomatoes – will work here too, but need to be rehydrated before adding to the tapenade.
- White wine vinegar – add a dash instead of lemon juice.
How to Make This Flavoursome Spread
This delicious Mediterranean spread can be made in four simple steps that won’t take you more than 5 minutes:
- Cut the sundried tomatoes in halves, crush the garlic, and separate parsley leaves from stems.
- Add sundried tomatoes and oil to a food processor. Add olives, crushed garlic, and lemon juice. Blend the mix for approximately 30 seconds.
- Season with black pepper, add capers, parsley leaves and sliced chili (if using). Blend again until you get a coarse texture. Taste and add more capers and black pepper if needed (and blend again).
- Serve on a slice of crusty bread or crackers and enjoy with a glass of good white wine!
Detailed instructions and measurements are in the recipe card at the very end of this article.
What To Serve This Spread With
First and foremost, this zesty and tangy tapenade is fantastic on canapes – add it on top of a crusty bread or diagonally sliced baguette. You can also eat it with savoury crackers (water’s biscuits) or crostini. Voila, you just made an amazing appetiser!
Alternatively, serve the tapenade in a small jar or serving bowl and add it to your charcuterie board. Your guests will love it!
Secondly, this tapenade can be stirred into pasta (use it instead of pesto). Finally, it also tastes good with grilled fish and chicken fillets - add it as a yummy topping just before serving. Or it can be used as a filling for stuffed chicken breasts and steaks. The options are nearly endless!
Be sure to add capers gradually, as they may easily overpower the taste of this spread. Less is more. Stir and taste it before adding any more.
This tapenade will stay fresh in an airtight food container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
When making it in advance, skip adding parsley and add it just before serving. Herbs like parsley can cause food to go bad quicker, so you will effectively prolong the shelf life of this spread by adding it last.
Serve at room temperature (take out of the fridge 30 mins before serving).
Tapenade is a French word for a capers. This spread or dip is widely popular in the beautiful Southern France region called Provence.
Whilst tapenade is olive-based spread or puree, pesto is mostly made of herbs. Both can be stirred into pasta or served with bread.
This tapenade will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. You can extend its shelf life for up to a week by adding the parsley just before serving.
Yes, you can! Transfer it to an ice cube tray and freeze for 5 hours. Once solid, move the frozen tapenade cubes into a freezer bag and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost as much of it as you need before serving to avoid any waste. It will thaw just fine on a kitchen counter within 20 to 30 minutes. Stir before serving.
If you have some leftover sundried tomatoes, you can add them to caprese salad. You can also have them with pasta (hot) or make this sundried tomato pasta salad (cold). Alternatively, bledn them with parmesan cheese, basil leaves and nuts to make a homemade red pesto.
📖 The Recipe
Delicious 5-minute Sundried Tomato Tapenade
- 50 g green or black olives
- 75 g sundried tomatoes in oil
- 10 g flat-leaf parsley
- 1 clove garlic peeled
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2-3 teaspoon capers
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 1 crispy baguette, ciabatta, crackers, crostini, breadsticks or similar
- 1 anchovy fillet
- 1 pinch chili flakes
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Cut sundried tomatoes in halves. Separate the parsley leaves from the stems. Crush the garlic.
- Add halved sundried tomatoes, olives, crushed garlic to a blender. Add lemon juice and some of the oil from the tomatoes. Blend for approximately 30 seconds.
- Season with black pepper, add capers, parsley leaves and sliced chili (if using). Blend again until you get coarse-like texture. Taste and add more capers and black pepper if needed.
- Serve on a slice of crusty bread or crackers.
- Kalamata or Greek olives – use what you have on hand. Different types of olives will give this spread different colour and also flavour.
- Dry-packed sundried tomatoes – re-hydrate them in hot water for 30 minutes, and drain before adding to the tapenade. Add 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil, otherwise the tapenade would be too dry.
- White wine vinegar – instead of lemon juice; 1:1 ratio.