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Tapenade: the recipe of the typical Provencal sauce

Tapenade: the recipe of the typical Provencal sauce


Extra virgin olive oil

The tapenade it’s a salsa typical of Provencal cuisine, a condiment with a strong but delicate taste at the same time. The basic ingredients are black olives, capers and anchovies in oil which are first finely chopped with a knife and then mixed with extra virgin olive oil. The result is a fragrant and not too fine pasta, perfect to accompany main courses of meat, fish and cheeses. You can also spread it on crackers, croutons or slices of toast and serve it as aperitif, appetizer or on the occasion of a festive buffet. The name comes from the Provençal word tapenas which means, in fact, “capers”.

It is a very simple preparation that must be made with ingredients of top quality: choose excellent black olives and for anchovies prefer those from the Cantabrian, particularly fleshy and tasty. If you are using salted capers, rinse them thoroughly under cold running water. For a touch of more aromaticity, you can add chopped aromatic herbssuch as parsley or thyme, and some grated lemon zest.

For a more pronounced taste, you can add a clove of minced garlic. The ingredients can also be worked with a pestle and mortar, pouring the olive oil little by little, until the sauce is thick and full-bodied.

Find out how to prepare tapenade by following the step by step procedure and advice. Also try aioli, another sauce of Provençal origin.

How to make tapenade

Remove the stones from the olives 1.

Chop the pulp with a knife, chopping it quite finely 2.

Collect the mixture in a bowl 3 and keep it aside.

Drain the anchovies and dab them with absorbent kitchen paper 4.

Finely chop them with a knife 5.

Add the capers, well drained and rinsed, then chop them together with the anchovies 6.

Add the caper and anchovy puree to the bowl along with the olives, then mix well 7.

Add some oil to the mixture 8mix and cover the surface with a little more oil.

Served tapenade with crackers 9 or croutons of toasted bread.


The tapenade can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in a glass jar, covered with plenty of extra virgin olive oil.

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