Spanish Olive Tapenade

The French love their olive spread made from lusty black Nicoise olives. The Italians choose rich Gaeta olives for theirs. However, the Spanish Manzanilla olives offer a fruitier-tasting version. These olives are small, slightly sweeter green olives available on most supermarket shelves. Blended with extra virgin Spanish olive oil, which has a smooth, sweet flavor reminiscent of fruit and almonds, the bite of the tapenade is mellowed and then brightened with the addition of lemon juice and cilantro. Spread on large croutons, brushed with oil and toasted, and serve with a Fino sherry for a perfect hors d'oeuvre. Have small bowls of almonds and dried cherries alongside to sweeten the palate.


  • 1 1/2 cups pitted Spanish Manzanilla olives
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin Spanish olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsps fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a food processor, combine olives, garlic and capers. Process until just smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the oil and lemon juice through the feed tube and process until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and fold in the cilantro and pepper. Let rest at room temperature for 1 hour for the flavors to come out.

print this page >>
Copyright © 2007 Chef John Folse & Company.
2517 South Philippe Ave. • Gonzales, LA 70737 • (225) 644-6000 • FAX (225) 644-1295