Smoky Olive Tapenade


1 Cup pitted black olives, such as Kalamata or Niçoise, or a mix
1 Cup pitted green olives, such as Picholine or Sicilian, or a mix
2 Tbsp capers, rinsed or drained as needed*
2 anchovy fillets, drained, rinsed and patted dry*
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 Tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
Freshly-squeezed juice from 1 lemon (2 Tbsp), or more to taste
1/4 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (not smoked)
1 to 2 Tbsp Olive Wood-Smoked olive oil


In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal puree blade (or with a blender), combine the pitted black and green olives, capers,* anchovies,* garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, parsley, basil and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse food processor briefly several times (checking the resultant texture of the mix after each pulse). The tapenade is at its best when it has a coarse texture.

Transfer olive-spice mixture to a serving bowl (if serving right away) or container with a tight-fitting lid.

Gradually add the extra-virgin olive oil, stirring with a small spatula to fully incorporate into the mixture. Add 1 Tbsp of the smoked olive oil; mix well and taste. Adjust to taste with some or all of the remaining smoked olive oil.

Serve immediately, or cover tightly and refrigerate up to one week.

*(If you’re not a big fan of capers, or want to keep your tapenade vegetarian-vegan and skip the anchovies, the tapenade ends up with a slightly less salty-umami effect — but is still very tasty).