Nana’s Vegan Olive Tapenade
I’ve loved olives and Vegan Olive Tapenade ever since I was a kid. Putting an olive on each finger and eating them was way more fun and tasty than whatever the adults were doing during hors d’oeuvres before Sunday dinners at my Nana and Papa’s house. As first generation Americans with Italian parents, they always served Italian meals. So, I grew up thinking olives were Italian.
Granted, Italy grows lots of olives, and produces the world’s best olive oil (or that’s what I was always told by my grandparents), so it made sense. Often Nana would also make an olive tapenade, so I had also assumed that it too was an Italian creation. Imagine my surprise when I traveled to Provence and discovered Olive Tapenade originated there! It’s even one of the traditional dishes of Nice’s Cuisine Nissarde.
Nana made olive tapenade without anchovies; it was Vegan Olive Tapenade. Traditional tapenade uses finely chopped olives, anchovies, and capers. In fact, the word tapenade comes from the word for capers, tapenas, even though it is mostly made from olives!
Nana was not a vegan, but knew my sister and I would not eat anchovies, and at that time, nor would we eat capers. She substituted vegetables for these ingredient, and a delicious Vegan Olive Tapenade was created! And as a side benefit, the added ingredients decrease the fat content of this dish by half making it much more healthy!
Vegan Olive Tapenade Recipe
Servings: 12 (about 1 ½ cups)
1/3 cup Basil
1 cup sun dried tomatoes
½ cup green olives, pitted
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted
¼ cup roasted red peppers
2 teaspoons minced garlic
¼ cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1. Add the basil to the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until basil is chopped well.
2. Scrape basil off of the side of the bowl, and add sun dried tomatoes, green olives, Kalamata olives, roasted peppers, and minced garlic.
3. Pulse until ingredients are the size of a small dice.
4. Add vegetable broth and olive oil, and pulse a couple more times.
1. If you prefer regular black olives to Kalamata olives, just substitute.
2. Jarred roasted peppers are fine for this recipe, but of course, if you want to roast your own, you can.
How to use Vegan Olive Tapenade
1. Appetizer – Put it in a bowl and serve it with sliced baguette or crostini.
2. Spread – Similar to giardiniera, Vegan Olive Tapenade is so good on sandwiches. Add a little cauliflower, and make a vegan muffaleta!
3. Pasta – To make Olive Tapenade Pasta, just cook your pasta and add the tapenade sauce. Yum!
4. Sauce – This tapenade sauce is also terrific on steak, chicken, and fish!