Tapenade or pate as they are called in Italy really seem to be in “foodie fashion” these days which is great to see because they are so versatile and can be used in so many different ways. We tried to sell them in the early days of La Cucina but olives weren’t even popular then so they didn’t sell. I mentioned recently that we have started to do them again and they are selling really well, I’m actually making a fresh batch tomorrow for all you Limerick inhabitants. If you are not prepared to make them yourself there are a couple of places in Limerick that you can buy them

  • Saturday Farmer’s market – there is a guy from Cork(I think) that sells a black olive tapenade which is really good. Anytime I go to the market I pick up some of that lovely crusty cheese bread from the little bread and cake stall and them some good Cambozola cheese from the cheese stall and that’s Saturday’s lunch sorted. A big antipasti of tapenade, cheese, Italian meats and crusty bread – Delicious!!

  • Olio e Farina – Susan has a really good selection of tapenades, we always buy the black olive, mixed pepper and aubergine. She also does artichoke and a few more, Susan if you’re reading this let us know what other varieties you do. The lovely chunky bread sticks in the picture above are also from there, we buy the black olive and also the Rosemary. They are definitely the best bread sticks in Limerick. We don’t get into Susan much but when we do we are like 2 kids in a sweet shop trying to decide what to buy, we treated ourselves to a few bottles of “vino” yesterday, a couple from Sicily which Bruno knew so I’ll let you know how they go down:) If you are going in I’d definitely recommend to check out her selection of whole salami(in photo above) which are great for Antipasti and of course her Organic Buffalo mozzarella – and no I’m not on commission;).

So, back to promoting myself, we now do 4 varieties:

  • green olive
  • black olive
  • sun dried tomato
  • roast peppers

They are great to have for a dinner party as nibbles instead of the boring peanuts, Doritos etc, just have a selection of these with some bread sticks for dipping. You can also use them as a starter and just serve them in little white bowls on a wooden platter with a selection of breads. Another way to serve them is on crostini, just slice up a baguette into thin slices. place them on a tray, drizzle a little olive oil and heat in the oven until golden brown and then spread your tapenades on top, you can add different cheeses, rocket, cured meats if you like also. Some people eat them with grilled fish or chicken as they are really healthy and are a nice alternative to heavy sauces. What way do we eat them – just smothered on crusty bread while waiting for the pasta to cook:)

If you want to make them yourself, here is the recipe for the black olive version:

  • 500g black olives – pitted
  • 25g salted capers, soaked in water for 10 mins and then drained.
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 125ml extra virgin olive oil
  • I don’t use salt as there is enough in the other ingredients, you can add chilli or black pepper if you like.


 – put everything into the food processor except the olive oil and just add gradually until you have a spreadable paste. You can have it smooth or chunky!