Green Olive Tapenade | Make Ahead Mondays

Green Olive Tapenade with Wasa Rye Crisps from Foodie with Family

I love rich and indulgent food. I love butter, heavy cream, all manner of bread, bacon and the like. I also love healthy food. It all depends on what is going on, what’s freshest and what’s available to me. After the holiday food madness, my food pendulum tends to swing a little further toward the healthier food cravings. I’m more likely to have a desperate desire for broiled fish than a buttery chocolate custard. It has nothing to do with resolutions, because I’ve never been a New Year’s resolution girl; that’s just how I am this time of year.

Don’t misunderstand me; my taste buds have not taken a leave of absence. I still want delicious food. This is where I rely on bold flavours that deliver big like this Green Olive Tapenade. Indulge me for a moment if you’re a tapenade-aholic while I dig into what it is for the benefit of those who haven’t yet tried this ambrosia.

Tapenade -in it’s most traditional form- is a spread or dip made of black olives with capers and anchovies. It is served with bread or crackers or added as a fast-and-easy WHIZZBANG flavour component to sandwiches, flat-breads and many other dishes. For instance, I love a light layer of tapenade atop the aforementioned broiled fish. It’s the difference between plain old broiled fish and “Oooooh! Broiled Fish!”

While I am an Equal Opportunity Tapenade Lover, there is a special place in my heart and in my stomach for Green Olive Tapenade. I chalk this up to the fact that I didn’t discover a love of green olives until I was pregnant with my first child. It’s a matter of mathematics. I must make up for time lost NOT eating things with green olives by eating many things with green olives. I believe my physicist baby sister would agree with this theory. Let’s ask her. Airlia? Are you reading this?

My Green Olive Tapenade is extra fabulous for more than one reason, though. While the traditional tapenade is almost entirely made of salty preserved things (Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Believe me, I’ve consumed and will continue to consume more than my share of the stuff…) I like to make mine more exciting with the addition of fresh herbs, garlic, lemon, and flavourful sun-dried tomatoes. It practically sings from the bowl, “I waaaaaaant you to want me. I neeeeeeeeeeed you to need me!”

Please tell me food sings songs from the 80’s to you, too.

In addition to all it’s deliciousness, tapenade has some health benefits. It’s true! Olives are full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. These are the good fats that help control cholesterol and blood sugar. Don’t you love it when great food is great for you?

Now, before I give you this ultimate Make Ahead Monday fabulousness (because once made, the Green Olive Tapenade is good for up to a month when tightly covered in the refrigerator. Tapenade things with wild abandon!) I will put on a dazzling display of mind reading. I sense it deep in my core that the second I said ‘anchovies’ some folks started pulling faces. No nose twitching allowed unless you’re certifiably allergic to fish. Anchovies add that certain je ne sais quois to dishes. Since all the ingredients are chopped or ground together, I defy you to find the presence of anchovy in tapenade. While you won’t be able to say, “A-HA! I taste ANCHOVY!” if you include the wee little fishies, you will most certainly know you’re missing a certain depth of flavour if you omit them. Take the plunge, or your tapenade attempt will sleep with Luca Brasi AND the fishes.

Please make yourself a batch of Green Olive Tapenade. You’re going to want to have it on hand for an impossibly easy and delicious Super Bowl treat I’ll be sharing with you in the next couple of weeks. You really won’t want to miss it!

5 from 1 reviews
Green Olive Tapenade | Make Ahead Mondays {GIVEAWAY}
Your taste buds will sing for joy when you eat this fast, delicious Green Olive Tapenade full of briny olives and capers, fresh herbs, garlic, lemon, and flavourful sun-dried tomatoes. Serve as an accompaniment to bread, crackers, crisps, vegetables or use as a topping for fish, chicken, pork. A spoonful or two tossed with hot pasta is one of the world's fastest comfort food dishes!
  • 2 cups drained Manzanilla olives with pimientos
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons brined capers + a little of their brine
  • 7 anchovy fillets (from a can of packed-in-olive-oil anchovies)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, oil-packed sun dried tomatoes
  • the juice and zest of one whole lemon
  • 3 fresh basil leaves
  • ½ to 1 small clove of garlic, peeled and minced or pressed
  1. Add all ingredients to the workbowl of a food processor* (See Note) fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until everything is evenly chopped. You can leave it more coarse for spooning on top of things or grind it up a little more to use as a dip or sauce. It is a matter of personal preference.
If you do not have a food processor, don't fret! Finely chop your herbs and sun-dried tomatoes then add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl and use a sturdy spoon to smash them together. It will be a more rustic but no less delicious tapenade!

Update:The giveaway is now closed. Pick a Giveaway Winner chose Katee L as our random winner. Check your email and congratulations, Katee!

More giveaway fun! Wasa Crispbreads (pictured above with the Green Olive Tapenade) have offered to help kickstart one Foodie with Family reader’s holiday foods reset.  The crispbread’s pure, natural grain flavours shine through ready to be topped with anything you wish, whether salty or sweet. Because the crispbreads themselves are not salted, they are a superior choice for serving with salty Green Olive Tapenade and other savoury spreads. My kids also love them topped with cream cheese and candied jalapeños or blueberry jam.

Wasa is giving away the following prize package to one Foodie with Family reader in the United States.

  •  1 $25 gift card (That would buy enough ingredients for a VAT of Green Olive Tapenade!)
  • 2 packages of Wasa Crispbreads so you can discover your own favourite way to eat them.

How do you enter?

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment on this post telling me what you do to reset after the holidays. Do you do resolutions? Do you crave healthy foods? Are you still doing holiday activities?

Optional Entries: (Be sure to leave a separate comment for each optional entry method used so we can be sure to count it!)

  1. Like Foodie with Family on Facebook.
  2. Follow Foodie with Family on Twitter.
  3. Follow Foodie with Family’s boards on Pinterest.
  4. Like Wasa on Facebook.
  5. Follow Wasa on Twitter.

The winner will be chosen at random and announced here on this post on Wednesday, January 16, 2013. Good luck everyone!

Disclosure: Wasa provided crispbreads for me to review and compensation for my additional ingredients, but all opinions are -as always- my own.


  1. Licia says

    Mmmm… you’re making my mouth water! I absolutely love olives! Can’t help it, being Italian. But I really enjoy those yummy pimento stuffed treats – especially chopped up in tuna or chicken or egg salad.

    After the New Year? Reset? Uhhh… I’ve spent my time trying (mostly in vain) to get back into the non-holiday swing of things. You know, actually finishing a load of laundry, actually pulling out the school books for the kids, and…ehem.. actually waking up before the kids.

  2. Alyssa says

    To reset, I like to completely clean my house and make resolutions such as planning my menus to be geared towards losing weight. One step at a time!

  3. Mary says

    I reset by getting back to meal planning! It makes such a difference when I plan ahead to make healthier foods and actually have the ingredients in my house!

  4. says

    I reset by re-committing to my physical activities — like yoga and running. And there is no good reset without curling up in a comfy chair and browsing some favorite websites or reading a good book, am I right? Now where did I leave my tea?

  5. Jen says

    Yum, green olive tapenade sounds great! Would also mix a little of it into cream cheese to top a bagel.

    New year’s reset – up the amount of veggies I eat, especially for lunch. Have been roasting lots of veggies including all kinds of squash, cauliflower, and beets. Also making a lot of bean based soups – minestrone, lentil.

  6. says

    I do resolutions, in different categories of my life like food, writing, family, teaching, etc. I like to think of them as “personal goals,” instead of traditional resolutions, because a goal can’t be “broken”–you are always working towards it, no matter how long it might take to reach it!

  7. says

    Sadly, I’ve been sick since Christmas Eve, so I’m STILL trying to get over that (awaiting test results from the doctor’s office). But as soon as I can kick whatever it is, I plan to get started with my new exercise- and diet-related promises to myself, as well as planning for life changes later in the year.

  8. Stephanie O says

    I try to reset by drafting a plan and taking steps to reach my goals. Seems like I get ahead one and fall back two. Revise plan.

  9. heather says

    I do a major clean up of all the candy and fudge and get them out of the house and start the new year trying to eat healthy.

  10. Lori H says

    No resolutions here, but I am definitely craving foods on the healthier side. Different variations of kale salad are at the top of the list right now.

  11. Karen says

    Reset and resolutions? Yes this year we are going back to the elimination diet we did so that we can feel better. And going to the gym. But I’m sure I’ve made this “lose weight” resolution for at least the last 15 years.!

  12. Julie says

    I plan on taking my power walks to the next level and try running. It’s all in the planning stages right now… : )

  13. Kristin says

    Thank you for the make ahead! I had never even heard of it or anything like it….but I’m pretty sure I have most of the ingredients. This year it is to be present more in what I enjoy…and let go of maybe some things I don’t. Really just looking forward to spring and planting the garden. 😉

  14. Jen L says

    oh, if only I could reset! January is our month of birthdays. oh the cake! lol! I have been trying to get back into non-sugar snacks. That is my weakness, sugar. Need to get back to the point where I don’t crave it. :) But I am back to more regular exercise!

  15. Karen B says

    I clean out the frig and reorganize the freezer. Christmas cookies take over my freezer for about a month. As soon as all the food is gone I go to the gym as much as possible and try really hard to eat healthy.

  16. Anne Weber-Falk says

    I don’t do anything. That’s the whole point. We run around for a month and a half and we are pooped so we take the day after Christmas off. The pj s stay on, we brush our teeth and hair, wash our face and eat and read and play games. We watch some holiday fare on the television and relax. I love it.

  17. Athena R says

    The tapenade looks delish! I don’t make resolutions. I just try to be better than I was the previous year. Lately, I have been craving healthier foods, which is a good thing.

  18. says

    Of course, I had to make this; the olive love is strong with this one.

    The basil gave it a most lovely extra freshness. I adore it.

  19. Airlia says

    I’m listening and definitely, you are thinking of the green olive eating conservation law! Every human MUST in his/her life eat precisely 4,726 x (number of children you have) green olives. Actually you really can eat more, but definitely not any fewer. This means that you would need to eat at least 1 every day to get to your total!

  20. Jordan D says

    I have definitely fallen off the diet bandwagon after the holidays…I’m able to maintain a good workout routine and I crave healthy foods, but at night I have to have something sweet. I blame the Christmas cookies and parties.

  21. Debbie says

    I had a pretty low key Christmas so I don’t need to reset.
    Love those crunchy Wasa crackers and will just have to try that tempting tapenade with them!

  22. Connie says

    I try to add more fresh vegetables and fruits to our meals. I also try to stick with fish and chicken. Since it is nice and cold soups are delightful. yum I just love to eat. I think about food all the time. Thank goodness for food blogs like yours.

  23. Kathleen S says

    I cannot wait to make this…in fact I am picking up the ingredients on my way home from work. My “reset” usually just comes naturally, with the cold weather encouraging me to make soups, stews, etc. that are full of healthy grains and veggies. Thanks for yet another inspiring post!

  24. says

    Hello Rebecca! Crazy Cheese lady here! I’m not entering the giveaway, because I don’t live in the States, but I do have two very important questions for you.
    1. Any suggestions for substitutes on the capers? In my ten years in West Africa I’ve never seen them, and the last time I tried to send a glass jar of food through the mail….well, lets just say there were lots of tears and a post office flat-rate box that smelled of apple molasses :(
    2. I’ve just recently found anchovies here!!!! Yipee! I’d almost run out of the jars I brought with me last time we flew! Only problem is that they are sun-dried {easiest way to make them keep in the hot tropics}…….so any suggestions on how to use them vs. the oil-packed ones?
    Hoping you are smart enough to figure out my food quandaries!
    Have a great day :)

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