Vegan Tapenade

Tapenade is this lovely southern French dish—the kind that I imagine lovingly prepared by old ladies in mortars wish pestles. (For reference, my favourite dishes are what I call ‘little old lady dishes,’ those hand pies and condiments made not only with love, but also with superstition and spot-on seasoning.)

Traditionally, it’s a mix of olives, capers, and anchovies, with olive oil added to emulsify the mix. It’s seasoned differently depending on where you are.

This vegan tapenade echews the anchovies. It’s still salty-briny in its wonderful way, and would pair well with a Loire white. It comes together in about as much time as it takes for a sip of wine.

Serve it as one of many tapas offerings, with bread or crackers, or with crudités and other dips.


In other news, here are some of my friends who wholly enjoyed this tapenade the other evening. The one in the orange is slowly but surely becoming vegan. It’s a slippery slope.

Being men, they all companied that the tapenade would have pictures of it on my blog, but they wouldn’t. Here you are, gentlemen; next time, don’t forget to specify whether you want to be identifiable in said pictures.


Vegan Tapenade Recipe

By M. M. Cassidy Published: July 3, 2012

  • Yield: 1 1/2 Cups (2-4 as a Side; 6-8 at Potluck Servings)
  • Prep: 5 mins

Tapenade really delivers on the taste:effort ratio. Blend, garnish with herbs, and go!



  1. In a small food processor, grind the garlic cloves.
  2. Add the olives and capers and process. While the food processor is running, stream in the oil. The more traditional method is a fine paste, but feel free to stop early if you like it chunkier.
    Vegan Tapenade Beginnings
  3. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the mustard and lemon juice.
  4. Stir in the herbs and spices to taste.
  5. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with more herbs before serving.
    Vegan Tapenade and Hot Pink Flowers

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