Tapenade on crostini

Olive tapenad with toasted bread

One thing I always try to have in my store cupboard is a can of pitted olives in brine. Not because I think they taste particularly wonderful on their own – I prefer my olives in a herby olive oil – but they are a wonderful ingredient to make dishes special. I use them with capers and herbs, olive oil, cherry tomatoes and a splash of white wine thrown onto cod loin in a roasting dish and roasted for 20 minutes or so in a hot oven. Instant dinner party. They are wonderful in an Italian style meat sauce or in a crisp lettusce salad with anchovies and a thick vinaigrette.

But here they are the perfect emergency food when friends appear and you want something to nibble with a glass of wine. On this occcasion I had a mixture of green and black olives, but usually I just grab a can of black pitted olives to make this easy tapenade.


  • 1 can pitted black olives in brine, drained
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • half a garlic clove crushed
  • olive oil as required
  • sea salt to taste

Turn the olives, garlic and capers into a small food processor bowl and process for a few seconds, pour in a spoonful of olive oil and process again. Repeat until desired consistency is achieved, being careful not to overprocess and lose the texture. Taste and add salt as necessary.

Adjust this recipe to suit your taste. You can leave out the capers and or garlic or add an anchovy or two. It’s always delicious!

Photography notes:

I photographed this on my snap DSLR, a Nikon D40x which I keep in the kitchen at home. I have a small tripod there too and a few reflectors and diffusers to adapt the light to the situation. For this shot I used a large Lastolite diffuser between the window and the food to soften the shadows, and had a 105mm micro lens on the camera which gives a very short depth of field and makes the hero area of the shot – the spoonful of tapenade – very obvious.

And the picture is now available to purchase from thePictureKitchen


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Ilan says:

    Oh… That looks sooooo good!
    I gotta try it, thank you ! 🙂


  2. Billie says:

    I seldom go on flickr anymore but did today and saw your latest image….followed the link and now I know you have a blog. It is wonderful and much more fulfilling than flickr. I’m bookmarking it and will drop by regularly.


  3. Yes I was really finding Flickr frustrating. I still use it for just nice images that I want to share and overseeing the *Very Special Food Photography Group is very interesting, but absurdly time consuming.


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