Savory, salty, umami flavor with fresh herbs and hints of heat and acidity make this easy mixed Olive Tapenade Bruschetta with grilled bread perfect for a casual game day snack or elegant enough to serve as an appetizer for your special occasion menu!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks – About Homemade Tapenade on Grilled Bread
Do you eat with your eyes like I do? I love the beautiful colors on this plate of Mixed Olive Tapenade Crostini with Grilled Bread! I have seen so many photos of
dull-looking olive tapenade, looking like a grey paste. Many of the recipes in the blogosphere strike me as being “one note.” I love layers of flavor, and that is how I’ve always approached my food.
A good tapenade requires more than just olives. This one includes mixed olives (more colors 😀 ), garlic (roasted please!), shallot, capers, crushed red pepper, zest and juice of a lemon, sherry vinegar, and anchovies. YEP. ANCHOVIES. Love, love, love my anchovies! They bring rich, umami flavor to so many favorite foods like caesar salad, bagna cauda, and salad niçoise. When I order food that features anchovies, I frequently hear “ick.” How do you respond?
Quality ingredients yield a better tasting tapenade. I frequently go to the olive bar at my local market, and find many different varieties. I fill a tub with different colors, and include a few cloves of roasted garlic (just in case I don’t feel like roasting a bulb). I always include some pimento stuffed olives for… color.
So, back to the Mixed Olive Tapenade Crostini with Grilled Bread…
📋 Tapenade Ingredients
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- olives – Unless you want to pit the olives, you’ll want to buy pitted olives. I use a mix of varieties – kalamata, castelventrano, and black olives.
- garlic – I’m not a fan of raw garlic, so I usually roast my garlic. If you want to use raw garlic, use fresh cloves rather than minced from a jar. You may also use commercially prepared roasted garlic.
- anchovies – Either whole anchovies or anchovy paste will work.
- crushed red pepper
- fresh herbs – I like thyme, basil, oregano, and/or parsley.
- lemon zest and juice
- vinegar – I like sherry vinegar, but wine or champagne vinegar will also work.
- olive oil – A good quality olive oil is a plus.
🔪 Instructions for Olive Tapenade Bruschetta
- Make the tapenade – The tapenade involves adding the ingredients to a food processor and pulsing them to the desired consistency. I prefer a mince to a rough chop or a paste.
- Prepare the grilled bread – Slice a baguette, brush lightly with olive oil, then grill it.
- Prepare the crostini – I vary the cheese layer; on photo shoot day, I used fresh mozzarella and chèvre. We definitely preferred the latter, but both were delicious. Try it with your favorite cheese. Layer the cheese on the grilled bread, top with a dollop of tapenade, then garnish with thin-sliced piquillo or roasted red bell peppers, fresh herbs, a thin slice of grilled citrus, additional crushed red pepper… You get the idea!
I start with pitted kalamatas and good green olives. I love to add some oil cured olives, but that usually means pitting the olives. Many markets now have olive bars, and this is a great way to get a variety of olives without buying several jars.
I love the smooth, mellow flavor of sherry vinegar. A good quality wine or champagne vinegar will work. Avoid cheap, acidic vinegars.
As mentioned in the post, on this day we used fresh mozzarella slices on some, and spread softened chèvre on others. Manchego is another good option. Be adventurous!
Not really. I’m being transparent. We practice “all things in moderation” at Andersen casa, and this mixed olive tapenade crostini is a treat rather than a regular item on the menu. Olives are high in sodium and fats.
🍷 Pairing Suggestions
We loved this olive tapenade crostini with Lagunitas Gnarly Wine (beer in the barley wine style). It would also pair well with a white Bordeaux or a viognier…
Do you have anything planned for Game Day (Super Bowl)? Having left our football-loving friends in New Mexico, we’ll probably spend a quiet day at home, but a tasty snack (or three) may be in the making!
Homemade Olive Tapenade Bruschetta
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- 3 cups mixed pitted olives - (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 5 cloves garlic - preferably roasted
- 1 small shallot - quartered
- 2 whole anchovies - or 2 teaspoons paste
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper - more or less to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh herbs - thyme, basil, oregano, parsley
- 1 lemon - zest and juice
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar - (see notes)
- ¼ cup olive oil - as needed
- 1 baguette - 1/2″ slices
- olive oil - for brushing
- cheese - (see notes)
- fresh herbs - peppers, grilled citrus, crushed red pepper, garnishes (see notes)
- Rinse and drain the olives and capers. Add to the bowl of a food processor. Add remaining tapenade ingredients (garlic through olive oil). Pulse until desired consistency is achieved. Scoop into a bowl, and set aside.
- Preheat grill to medium-high. Brush bread lightly on both sides with olive oil. Grill until you have nice brown grill marks, being careful to not burn your baguette!
- To assemble: Layer a slice of grilled bread with your choice of cheese, a dollop of tapenade, and garnish of choice. Enjoy!
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.