There’s something about the smell of olives, anchovies, capers and thyme that takes me straight to the Mediterranean. I’m thinking the south of France, a cobblestone terrace, stiff drink in hand and the sun setting over the ocean. A girl can dream right? But even if you’re just having drinks with friends at home, you’re going to need some nibbles. This Provençal favourite fits the bill perfectly. Serve the tapenade with grissini, crackers or torn up sourdough and as Jamie Oliver says, “Happy days!”
On a side note, I was interested to discover that the word “tapenade” comes from the Provençal word for caper buds, tapeno. In Roman times, these caper buds would be preserved in amphoras filled with olive oil, and the capers would get mushed together in a rough paste that inspired the modern tapenade. When researching I also came across this delicious-sounding fig and olive tapenade from David Lebovitz, which is next on my list to try.
No Thermomix? No problemo! You can easily make tapenade in a food processor, or the mortar and pestle if you want to stretch some muscle.
I’d love to know, what do you like to nibble on with drinks?
Thermomix olive tapenade
Preparation time 5 minutes
200g kalamata olives, pitted and rinsed
2 tbsp capers, rinsed (see tip)
1 small garlic clove
2 anchovies, rinsed
1tbsp fresh thyme
20g lemon juice
50g olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
Here’s what you do
1. Place all ingredients except oil and pepper into TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds/speed 7. Scrape down sides with a spatula and mix for another 5 seconds/speed 7.
2. Place a jug or a bowl on top of TM lid and weigh in the olive oil. With the blades running at speed 4 and the measuring cup turned bottom up, slowly pour the olive oil onto the lid and let it drip through the gap until fully incorporated. This will take about 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the Thermomix bowl with the spatula.
3. Season with freshly ground black pepper and mix for another 5 seconds/speed 4.
Tip: Capers preserved in salt (not brine) are recommended for their superior flavour. You can find these at most good supermarkets or delis.