What is Tapenade? Much like salsa verde, is an easy to make sauce that is used as a condiment around the world. Popular especially in the south of France, it is commonly enjoyed as bread spread. In fact, the recipe for tapenade or “tapenada” was discovered as early as the first century. This sauce has become a culinary favorite because of its unique taste, simple preparation and nutritional benefits.
What is Tapenade Made From?
The ingredient list of tapenade is short and includes olives, anchovies, capers and olive oil. These items are then blended to produce the tapenade paste. Some cooks prefer to add extra flavor the sauce with ingredients like garlic, lemon juice and even liquor. Tapenade sauce is naturally quite bitter because of the olives. However, you can season it with your favorite spices to bring out new flavors.
Health Benefits of Tapenade
Tapenade sauce is one of the healthiest sauces you can eat. This makes it a great replacement for ketchup, mustard and other processed condiments that contain too many added sugars. With olives and anchovies as the main ingredients, tapenade is packed with nutrients. The sauce is a good sauce of fiber, iron, iodine and antioxidants.
Tapenade also has great amounts of vitamins B and E, phosphorus and magnesium. This vitamins and minerals have positive effects on bones, energy, muscle, your immune system and blood pressure. Tapenade also carries omega fatty acids, which are known for helping to manage inflammation in diabetic patients. It is quite a fatty sauce and should be consumed in moderation. However, the fats found in tapenade are the healthy kind that lowers bad cholesterol to prevent heart disease.
What is Tapenade Used for?
In many parts of the world, tapenade is used as a sauce for many foods. It is often served with pork chops, chicken dishes and steak cuts. It also goes well with seafood like shrimp, mussels and scampi. Some cultures have adapted the French way of eating tapenade as a spread for bread. Another good use of this sauce is to add it as a topping on pastas and pizza.
How to Make Tapenade
- ½ pound olives pitted
- 2 anchovy fillets
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped capers
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Prepare the your olives by pitting them (if necessary). Wash and rinse your anchovies.
- Add all the ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend until all ingredients are well pureed.
Tapenade Tips and Tricks
Once you know how to make decent tapenade, experiment with other ingredients for new flavors. You can create versions of this sauce using artichokes, pine nuts, mint and basil. Give your sauce a lemony zing by adding fresh lemon juice or vinegar.
Tapenade is a unique sauce that you can serve with meats, seafood, pasta, bread and many other foods. Olives, anchovies and capers give it a delicious taste and plenty of nutrients as well. Rich in vitamins and many minerals, it is the perfect alternative for processed, high-sugar condiments.