Customized Tapenade

This classic and simple Mediterranean dish is made from pureed or chopped olives, fresh herbs and spices. You can also add some nuts to your recipe and make it even more wholesome!

Tapenade makes an exquisite and nutritious appetizer that you can prepare in just a few minutes and serve with bread, crackers, or raw veggies.

This olive paste, packed with healthy fats, is also a great compliment to another favorite dip: hummus, which is loaded with protein and fiber!

Also, try tapenade as a spread on your sandwich, veggie wrap or pizza!

 Olives, a symbol of wealth and prosperity, are native to the Mediterranean, Africa and Asia. They are a highly nutritious food, rich in monounsaturated fat (which is one of the best fats that we can eat), dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, they are also very high in sodium, so consume them with moderation and make sure you combine your tapenade with lightly salted or unsalted foods. There are many kinds of olives, such as the Manzanilla Spanish green olive, Picholine French green, Kalamata Greek black, Lugano Italian black and Sevillano Californian. The color of an olive, however, depends on how ripe it was when it was picked. Green olives are picked in an earlier stage of maturity while back olives are fully ripened.

kalamata olivesKalamata olives, featured in this recipe, are grown in Greece and they have a deep purple color and a smooth meaty texture. They are usually preserved in wine vinegar or olive oil. Kalamata olives have become very popular in the last few years, so you will find them in most grocery stores. California black olives are a great local alternative. You can also use green olives, or combine the two types, but make sure to avoid canned olives, they are tasteless.


  • 2 cups of Kalamata olives (or any kind of black or green pitted olives)
  • The juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 garlic clove (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (optional)
  • Your choice of fresh herbs, spices, nuts and seeds: parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, paprika, red bell pepper (roasted or raw), capers, hemp seed, pumpkin seed, sunflower seeds, pecans, cashews, walnuts, or almonds.

♥ TIPS: To lower the sodium level of your tapenade, soak the olives in water overnight. To keep your tapenade fresh, store in a glass jar, cover the surface with olive oil, and refrigerate.


  1. In a medium bowl, mix the pitted olives, olive oil, lemon juice, chopped garlic, diced bell pepper, and chopped parsley (or the herb of your choice). Season with freshly ground pepper.
  2. Process all of the ingredients until you get a chunky puree. Your tapenade is ready! Note: Instead of using a food processor, you can finely chop all of the ingredients.
  3. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve with one of GSU’s wholesome Homemade Breads!

Spread your tapenade on your grilled cheese, sandwich, wrap, flatbread and pizza!