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Tangy, bright and earthy Artichoke Tapenade is not just an elegant Mediterranean appetizer, but a spread, a topping and a stir-in that transforms the routine into something special. Made with 8 everyday ingredients in just 10 minutes with your food processor, it's a recipe you'll turn to often.
Ideal for holiday parties and celebrations you can serve this quick and easy, robustly flavored spread with slices of baguette or crispy crostini to guests and watch it disappear. But you should also think of it as a secret ingredient to elevate all kinds of savory dishes: on grilled meats, fish, poultry, cooked vegetables, pizza and salads; as a dip with crudités, as a sandwich spread, or swirled into salad dressings.
Ingredients You Need to Make Artichoke Tapenade
- Artichoke Hearts: canned artichoke hearts in water
- Castelvetrano Olives: pitted or other pitted green olive (Note that the flavor of the olives will strongly affect the tapenade flavor. Castelvetrano olives are mild and buttery, where other green olives can be quite tangy and astringent, so choose carefully.)
- Capers: ideally non-pareil capers
- Olive Oil: good quality, extra-virgin olive oil
- Lemon: fresh lemon juice and zest
- Fresh Parsley: ideally flat leaf parsley also called Italian parsley
- Garlic: fresh garlic cloves
- Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
When shopping for this recipe, be sure to choose quality ingredients that you'd happily enjoy on their own. With so few, there is nowhere for mediocre or overpowering ingredients to hide.
What is Tapenade?
Traditional tapenade is a Mediterranean condiment consisting of finely chopped or pureed olives, anchovies, capers, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper. The name comes from the Provençal word "tapenas," meaning capers.
This version embellishes the original with tender artichoke hearts and uses buttery green olives instead of the traditional briny black olives. It also omits anchovy, but you're welcome to add those too!
- Swap in kalamata olives for some or all of the Castelvetrano olives to add briny flavor and a "peppered" appearance to the tapenade.
- Add a handful of fresh basil leaves for an herbaceous twist.
- Toss in chopped, raw sweet bell peppers for flavor depth and crunch.
- Add an anchovy fillet or two for a touch of umami.
How to Serve
- Spoon onto crisp Crostini, crackers or bread slices for an easy appetizer.
- Spread on top of or serve alongside fish like Grilled Swordfish, Slow Roasted Salmon or Parmesan Baked Cod.
- Serve with raw vegetables for dipping.
- Toss into pasta for a simple pasta dish.
Also try this reader favorite Green Olive Tapenade.
How to Make Artichoke Tapenade
Add all tapenade ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the olives are finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and serve at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to a week.
- 14 ounce can artichoke hearts canned in water, drained and quatered
- 1 cup pitted castelvetrano olives or other pitted green olives
- 2 tablespoons capers drained
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Combine artichoke hearts, olives, capers, olive oil, fresh lemon juice and zest, parsley and garlic in the bowl of a food processor; pulse just until the olives are finely chopped, scraping down the sides as necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve or refrigerate.
- Store refrigerated for up to 1 week.