Olive Tapenade and the Art of Apéro

Olive tapenade in a bowl with some red wine and a nice baguette

If you like olives then you probably LOVE tapenade. It’s the perfect salty, umami-loaded olive spread to eat while you prepare dinner or are getting ready to go out. Olive tapenade is quick to prepare, super simple and a recipe every olive-lover must have in their recipe box. Here’s a no-fail recipe for olive tapenade that is quick and super lekker (My favourite Dutch expression for describing something tasty/pleasurable that I can’t stop using since I’ve moved to the Netherlands).


If you hang around French people long enough you might start to hear the word apéro. We hear this word whenever we visit our  Belgian friends from the French side. It’s just a fancy word for snacks before the meal but the idea of it is great. Everyone meets (usually at someone’s home) for chips, or little snacks with bread and a nice drink.

It’s a perfect way to sneak in some snacks and a quick drink before the meal starts or while you’re cooking dinner. In the Netherlands, we don’t really have a word like apéro but definitely a word to describe the feeling – gezellig. Gezellig is the word that doesn’t directly translate to english but best described as a pleasant social setting where everyone is enjoying the moment. Luckily, you don’t have to be French or Dutch to enjoy a nice apéro or gezellig moment!

Health Benefits

Did you know that kalamata olives are a good source of iron, calcium and copper and may reduce your risk of anemia, strengthen your bones, and improve heart function? They’re also healthy for the heart and eyes because they contain good amounts of vitamin A and E!

Tips on Tapenade

  • Always buy olives with the pit still inside because the flavour is much better than pitted olives
  • Buy the nicest olives and olive oil you can find

Try adding adding these ingredients for something different

  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Anchovies & Capers
  • Smoked paprika
  • Fennel seed
  • Fresh oregano

Raw ingredients for the kalamata olive tapenade

Raw ingredients for the kalamata olive tapenade

Kalamata Olive Tapenade

A quick and easy recipe for kalamata olive tapenade that makes a perfect apéro to snack on before dinner. Serve with a crusty baguette and a good glass of wine.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 208kcal
Cost: $7


  • Food processor


  • 200 g kalamata olives 1½ cups
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ piece shallot peeled
  • 60 g olive oil ¼ cup
  • ½ piece clove of garlic peeled
  • ¼ tsp chili
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 squeeze of lemon juice + zest


  • De-seed the olives by pushing them against the cutting board with something heavy like a pan.
    Raw ingredients for the kalamata olive tapenade
  • Slice the shallot into a small dice. Zest the garlic and lemon into a bowl. Pick the parsley leaves from the stems.
    All the ingredients ready to make kalamata olive tapenade
  • Add all the ingredients together and pulse but don't over-purée.
    Blending the ingredients for olive tapenade
  • Check the seasoning if it needs more lemon or salt to your preference.
    Kalamata olive tapenade blended
  • Serve with a crusty baguette and a good glass of wine.
    Olive tapenade ready to eat with wine and a crusty baguette
Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 782mg | Potassium: 60mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 797IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Leave me a comment below 🙂
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