My neighbour in Saint-Chinian, M. Galy, has planted a caper bush by the fence at the bottom of his potager. It is placed to get full sun and he is proud of it, as they are notoriously difficult to get going. He and Mme. Galy pickle the capers in vinegar, and it is from pickled capers (tapèno in Provençal; tapera in Occitan, tapenade is taperada in Occitan) that one makes tapenade – pounding them together with stoned black olives and anchovies in olive oil.
Nowadays, on the spice and olive stalls at the outdoor market of Saint-Chinian, they also sell green tapenade (made with green olives), red tapenade (made with sun-dried tomatoes instead of olives), and there is a tapenade made with tinned tuna fish and mustard. This recipe is based on Mireille Johnston’s advice, and was passed on to me by our actor- friend Robin Ellis who lives near Castres. It will.