It might sound rudely obvious, but your tapenade will taste of the olives it is made from. Therefore, one made from tasteless supermarket stoned olives and cheap oil will be, well, tasteless. If you can’t find a source of well-flavoured stoned olives, do it yourself. It can be fun. Put the olives on a chopping board, lay the flat of a large knife blade or a smaller board or suchlike on top, then pound this a few times with your fist. The stones should now pop out easily. We use tapenade mostly in its original thick form, spread on sandwich bread or between grilled crusty bread and goats’ cheese as a snack. It has also been occasionally thinned with olive oil for a dressing and as a sauce for polenta.
PUT EVERYTHING EXCEPT the oil in a food processor and blend to a coarse puree, then add the oil and blend again briefly. Store the tapenade in an airtight container with a thin layer of olive oil above the puree, preferably in the fridge, and it will keep for weeks.
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