This artichoke green olive tapenade is a brighter, lighter version of the versatile olive spread from Provençe.
When you think of tapenade, you probably think of the Provencal spread typically made from black olives and herbs; but tapenades can also be made with green olives and other ingredients as well. One of my favorite variations on the classic is an artichoke green olive tapenade, it’s lighter, brighter and a bit more briny than traditional tapenade but no less versatile or delicious.
It’s terrific served as an appetizer with cocktails, as part of a cheese board or spread on just about anything you can think of. It’s also easy to make at home, making it a no-brainer for when you have guests over or need something to bring to a party.
While olives are usually the main player in tapenade, this artichoke and green olive tapenade showcases the best of both.
Jarred artichokes hearts are an unsung hero in the kitchen; they’re incredibly versatile, easily available and should really be a pantry staple. (There’s no need to waste time cleaning, trimming and preparing fresh artichokes when the jarred kind will do just fine in most cases.) Here the artichokes add extra body, texture and a mellow flavor that helps to balance out the saltiness of the olives and add much needed freshness to the spread.
As for the olives, get the best quality you can find. Olives from an olive bar are great, good quality jarred olives work as well but please stay away from canned olives. The type of green olives is up to your taste, I like the large buttery Castelvetrano olives but any variety will do. Pitted will save you time and effort but rob you somewhat of flavor so if you have the time and patience (which I’ll admit I don’t always have) get the un-pitted olives instead and use the side of a large chef’s knife to crush the olives and remove the pits.
After that, it’s simply a matter of pulsing the ingredients until they are roughly chopped in the food processor and generously drizzling in enough olive oil to make a chunky but spreadable paste. Serve with crackers or an assortment of raw vegetables for an easy but impressive appetizer or just keep a jar in the fridge for snacking or spreading.