Legendary Dishes | Tapénade (anchovy and caper olive oil paste)

Tapénade FRANCE anchovy and caper olive oil paste
Tapénade, a dish of the Provençal region of south-east France and specific to Marseille, was originally made by pounding fresh capers with anchovy fillets in a mortar, gradually drizzling olive oil and lemon juice into the mixture, finishing with a grinding of black pepper. This mixture was added to pounded hard-boiled egg yolks and stuffed into halved eggs, then served as an hors d’œuvre. Over time stoned black olives were added to give the tapénade depth, and to allow it to be served pâté-like. Some recipes called for tuna fish, others for garlic, herbs and mustard. Tapénade remains a dish of Provence, because the ingredients – especially the capers (which give this sauce its name) – need to be fresh.

Tapénade – 1

  • 100 g anchovy fillets
  • 100 g capers, fresh
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Black pepper, pinch
  • Brandy, splash

plus …

  • 8 hard-boiled eggs, halved length-wise, yolks retained
Pound the anchovies and capers in a mortar (or blender), add oil, brandy and sufficient lemon juice to make a sauce, thicken with the hard-boiled yolks, season with pepper.
Stuff the mixture into the eggs, serve with a drizzle of the tapénade over each halved egg.

Tapénade – 2

  • 240 ml olive oil (quantity with garlic and olives)
  • 100 g anchovies
  • 100 g capers
  • 100 g black olives, de-seeded (optional)
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 4 cloves garlic (optional)
  • Pepper

The quick method is with the food processor. Garlic and olives enrich this paste. If that is your choice, blend the anchovies, capers, garlic, onions and lemon juice. Strain through a sieve, then blend again with the oil and pepper. For the simpler version, pound anchovies and capers in a mortar with the lemon juice, adding sufficient oil to produce a creamy smooth texture. Spread on fresh white bread.


Tapénade – 3

  • 275 g black olives, pitted
  • 100 g anchovies in olive or sunflower oil
  • 100 g capers, fresh or brined
  • 100 g tuna in oil (optional)
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 1 lemon, large, juiced
  • 10 g mustard
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf, crushed
Blend everything in a food processor, serve on toasted fresh bread.

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