A delicious green olive tapenade recipe that is free of added oil, only five ingredients, all of which are fresh and superfood-level healthy! In five minutes, you can make this healthier version of the traditional green olive spread that is light in taste and calories. It is also vegan, so only veggies in this delicious spread.
Vegan Green Olive Tapenade
I love olive tapenade. ALL olive tapenades. But since they are almost always made from black olives, I decided to buck the trend and make them from green.
Green olives tend to be saltier, so I reduced the normal amount of capers that typically found in tapenades. I also did not use oil to make my olive spread lighter in taste, after-taste and calories. Here, I served it on a whole wheat roll with tomatoes, mushrooms, kale, micro greens and it was perfect!
What is Green Olive Tapenade?
It is a paste of olives, traditionally capers, anchovies and olive oil. My version does not have anchovies because my recipe is plant-based and anchovies are a fish. And it doesn’t have extra olive oil because I decided to just depend on the olives for the oil and it worked wonderfully.
Where Does Tapenade Come From?
I love to investigate the history of traditional recipes sometimes. And Mediterranean foods fascinate me and I love them.
Olive tapenade is a Mediterranean recipe that originated in France nearly 100 years ago. The word comes from the French language. It is a paste or spread, and oddly is often confused with pesto.
The Difference between Tapenade and Pesto
Is tapenade the same as pesto? No. Pesto is a paste that is made by crushing (see the word pestle in there?) things like leaves and nuts and garlic. And the result is a sauce, often an uncooked sauce for pasta and other dishes.
Tapenades are spreads. They are similar maybe in some ingredients like olives and garlic and even herbs. And they are also uncooked but they are served on breads and crackers and in sandwiches.
The Difference between Tapenade and Bruschetta
Oddly olive tapenade is also sometimes confused with bruschetta. Bruschetta is a bread that is topped with things like olives or pastes like tapenade. So now you know the difference? Haha, you probably already knew the difference
What Does Green Olive Tapenade Taste Like?
A dream. Light and not oily. Olive-y. Like a stroll through Tuscany. Haha. I’ve never been there, only read about it.
How to Make Green Olive Tapenade
My green olive tapenade is very easy to make. I made mine in five minutes flat.
Just add the drained olives and capers to the blender jar (or food processor).
Chop the parsley and garlic and add those. Add the lemon juice. Blitz and store in refrigerator. That is if you don’t it all in one sitting. I have only done that
seven times once.
What Should I Put Tapenade On?
Oh, let me count the ways..
- roasted veggies
- a spoon
- pasta (move over pesto!)
How Healthy is This Olive Tapenade Recipe?
My green olive tapenade has only five ingredients: olives (obvs!), capers, parsley, garlic and lemon juice. So let’s talk about the nutritional contributions of each ingredient to this recipe.
Green olives are fruits from a tree, in case you didn’t know. They are high in vitamin E and super high in antioxidants. Some studies push them higher for heart and disease protection. The healthy fats in olives come from, duh!, olive oil which has long been considered incredibly healthy, and is a vital part of the popular Mediterranean diet. Read more about the nutrition of olives here.
Obviously olives, thus tapenade, are fairly high in sodium, so take care regarding your situation and needs to balance sodium.
Another superfood ingredient in this recipe is garlic, a veggie so lauded for its therapeutic effects, and high in vital vitamins and minerals.
Parsley is nutritious and considered a strong detoxer. Lemon juice has vitamin C. Even the capers are good for you, with a strong ability to fight disease, according to ScienceDaily.
Let me know if you try my easy olive tapenade recipe.
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Green Olive Tapenade (oil-free, vegan)
- 3 cups green olives
- 1 tsp rinsed capers
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Drain the olives. Drain a tsp of capers. Peel and crush 2 garlic cloves. Chop roughly the parsley.
Make olive tapenade
- Process until all ingredients until smooth. I use both a smaller blendtec twister jar, and a food processor. The twister jar is remarkable for pastes that might be harder to incorporate. I linked to the blender above, but a food processor will work too.For this recipe, I used green olives from a can. Whole Foods-brand bpa-free cans of green olives without pits but you can obviously use any olives you want.
- Keep refrigerated in air-tight container; lasts about a week
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients . On this blog you’ll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in biology, immunology and journalism. More about Dee Dine here.