Black olive paste (tapenade)

I have dreamt of travelling around the world like a nomad since I was a teenager. However a dream is a dream and I never thought I was strong and flexible enough to make this happen. At the end of 2016, I was suffering with a bit of a health issue and my heart wasn’t doing well. At the same time I also felt like I was in a bottleneck with my creativity. After I had few collapses due to my heart issue and ended up in the hospital, I knew I must have a break…

2017 was a strange year of my life, I put all my possessions into storage and said goodbye to my work space, my flat and my friends. I travelled around Europe by myself (a couple of friends joined in certain stops) for 13 months. Luckily enough, as a freelance illustrator/graphic designer I could work anywhere so long as there was a desk, a laptop and internet access. This gave me the freedom to make this journey happen without costing me an arm and a leg.

One of the stops was Greece and I stayed there for seven weeks last summer; it was such a beautiful country with amazing nature, mighty ancient ruins and food! This recipe was created and photographed while I lived in Athens – a heaven of pastries, Turkish delights, cold brew coffees, olives, spices and WINE!!!!

Twice a week, I walked 20 minutes to Central Municipal Athens Market and spent an afternoon picking the best value ingredients for cooking. If I have to give a sincere opinion, the market was quite dirty, noisy and chaotic, and the meat and fish sections were awful smelling. However, it was so colourful, vivid, authentic and raw that it almost reminded me the old-school markets in Hong Kong back in the 80’s. It was unique and nostalgic. The varieties of olives, nuts, spices and vegetables were enormous and the price was cheap.

One weekend, I bought a massive bag of the best quality of kalamata olives for 2 euro, and that how this recipe was created…

Black olive paste tapenade

This recipe is super easy, all you need to do is add the ingredients to a food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes – that’s all!

The ingredients of the Greek tapenade are fairly simple. Unlike French or other Mediterranean tapenade recipes, the Greek one doesn’t add any herbs, lemon juice, capers or anchovies… etc, and I am completely in love with the simplicity of it. It is a perfect spread for biscuits, crackers, flatbread, breadsticks and vegetables. You can also add in pasta, using it as a great alternative to pesto. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

This recipe was created for Veahero, a cool new (free!) meal planning platform for vegans and vegetarians.

If you have followed and made this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and take a picture, tagging it with #k33_kitchen and share it on Instagram! I’d be very excited to see what you come up with. Cheers, hope you enjoy my recipes!

Black olive paste tapenade
Black olive paste tapenade
Black olive paste tapenade

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Difficulty: Easy

Serves: 2-4

Prep.: 0 mins | Cook: 5 mins

  • 150g pitted black olives (Kalamata)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
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  1. Combine all ingredients in a small food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes until they resemble a slightly granular paste.
  2. Serve with a toasted baguette OR as a seasoning or a topping for a dish. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
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9 months ago
Rate this recipe :

Great, simple recipe. Worked well. Added a bit of thyme also