Tapenade (Black Olive Spread from a Provence Cooking Vacation)

Mount Holy Victory during your gastronomic holiday in ProvenceEnjoy this wonderful recipe from straight from sunny Provence! Provence is a region known for its olives, and no where is that more evident than in this wonderful dip that combines olives, olive oil, and seasoning such as garlic and fresh herbs. You can taste (and prepare) this and other Provencal dishes on our cooking vacations in Provence, including:

You can make tapenade to serve as an appetizer, but it also makes a great spread for sandwiches. Looking for more Provencal spreads? Try our recipe for anchoiade.

See all our cooking vacations in France.

Provencal TapenadeProvencal tapenade and other dips during a culinary tour of Provence.


  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 cup of capers
  • 6 anchovy fillets (in oil)
  • 1 cup pitted black olives, if possible such as Nyons, or very well drained from their water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • olive oil (about 3/4 cup)

Serves 8
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 0 mintues
Cook method: crush/puree

Black olives ready for a cooking class in France.Instructions

  1. Peel the garlic cloves and reduce with olive oil into a “garlic purée” (using if you have one a Provençal terracotta manual grinder—a nice gift to buy at the market and to bring back home to all your friends !).
  2. Rinse and dry the capers.
  3. Put the anchovy fillets to drain and chop them finely.
  4. Place all the ingredients into a food processor and season with pepper.
  5. Add olive oil in a steady stream and process until it has become a thick, spreadable paste.

Use as a spread for crudités, crackers, breadsticks, and slices of French baguette of course … or on a Tartine Jariniére sandwich … enjoy it with a glass of Pastis … or add a tablespoon of it to a plain tomato sauce to make it special!Street of Provence visited on your culinary tour of France

You can learn to make this and other Provencal specialties on our culinary vacations and food tours in France, including several food and wine tours offered in Provence!

By Peg Kern

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