Allan’s son and his girlfriend delighted us by asking to come for Thanksgiving, made even more special by wanting to stay over, so we had to have a huge feast.  One of celebration and sharing a meal with people we not only love but really enjoy spending time with.

And for our Thanksgiving feast I wanted to have a spread of appetisers that would be full of flavour and set the mood for a huge dinner and which would be perfect for late night snacks later on if anyone was still hungry. Plus which would also be easy to throw together so I didn’t have to spend all day in the kitchen and could spend time with everyone.  (Though a lovely girlie chat in the kitchen while washing up was a lot of fun and made me smile lots).

Tapenade was perfect, easy to make, a make ahead dish and full of huge flavours.

I was going to follow a recipe but decided to just follow my instincts. And this is what I ended up with…

Green olive tapenade… but don’t tell me there are olives in it!

Just a small point to make it easier on yourself.  When you spend five minutes making sure you have chosen the pitted olives you want don’t let something sparkly distract you and cause you to buy the unpitted ones, because while two cups of olives doesn’t look like a lot in the bottom of a bowl, when you are half way through pitting them you begin to believe they are breeding in there!  And, I am sure that there is some snazzy little pitting tool that pops the olive pit out in a millisecond but I don’t have one.  Because we don’t like olives.


But we love tapenade.

Can’t explain it.  Just the same with tomatoes, I love them every way except in soup when the mere thought makes me turn green.

The thing is that I feel that olives are an “adult” thing, like coffee, so I really want to like them, but it just hasn’t happened for me.  A friend told me that if you can eat eight in a row then you will learn to love them.  I can’t get past three…

I feel in some way that until I learn to love olives I will never be a real grown up, but maybe that isn’t so bad after all.

This tapenade is full of robust flavours so serve it with great hunks of crusty bread and a huge appetite!


  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped (or two if you like a lot of garlic!)
  • 2 cups whole, pitted olives (kalamata, black, green; use your favorite)
  • 2 Tbsp. capers
  • 1 tsp. chpped fresh thyme OR 1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 6 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • You could add an anchovie I guess, but I didn’t want to as I as vegetarian

Combine garlic, olives, capers, thyme, rosemary and lemon juice in an electric blender or bowl of a food processor.

Slowly add the olive oil into the mixture while blending or processing. Blend until a paste is formed. Add pepper and stir.

Store the spread in the refrigerator, well covered.

You can also make this using a mortar and pestle, or by chopping all ingredients together until very fine.

The texture can be as smooth or as chunky as you like.

Serve with crackers or crusty bread.

Green olive tapenade