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There are many things that are currently guise themselves as Tapenade.  A lot of them are existing under false pretenses.  Why?  Because the word “Tapenade” comes from “Tapenas,” the old Provençal word for capers, ergo, tasty though it may be, if it doesn’t contain capers, it can’t truly be called Tapenade. 


1, 4.25 ounce can chopped black olives

1 anchovy fillet, rinsed and finely chopped
2 cloves of Roasted Garlic, very finely minced

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and finely chopped

1 or 2 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

About 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill weed

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, well crushed


About 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil

Fresh lemon juice to taste

A whisper of sugar, - (in tiny amounts sugar does not make things sweet, it just lets all the flavors get along with each other)

Salt and fresh coarse ground black pepper to taste – (you will probably find that you don’t need any salt.  The olives, anchovy and capers are fairly salty in themselves)


Put the first six ingredients into a bowl and blend well.  Begin adding the olive oil and stirring in well after the addition of each spoonful.  You don’t want so much oil that the mixture looks oily.  When the olive oil has been blended in, add the remaining ingredients to taste.  Refrigerate for about an your before serving.  Stir well so that no oil is standing on top.  Garnish with two or three whole olives, a sprig of fresh dill weed and a slice of lemon.  Serve with thin slices of fresh sourdough baguette.

The English Country Kitchen


        Copyright © 2008 - Geraldine Duncann

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