Traditionally, tapenade is simply made with olive paste and capers. Capers are a must. Tapenade originated in the French region of Provence and the name is derived from the Provencal word for capers, “tapenas”. Often anchovies are also used. The great thing about tapenade is that you can add any number of ingredients depending on the flavours you like such as garlic, pepper, chilli, basil, parsley etc. This particular tapenade is a classic combination of two traditional Mediterranean products olives and figs. Spread the tapenade on baguette slices brushed with olive oil, as a dip on a platter with vegetables, or on crackers or pita triangles. You can also add it to a vinaigrette, or stir into a pasta for an easy sauce and serve with some grated parmesan.




Skill level

Average: 3.2 (3 votes)


  • 180 g certified organic black Arbequina olives, pitted (or any black olive variety)
  • 20 g organic figs (alternatively use dried figs soaked in hot water for 20 minutes)
  • 2–3 capers

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Drink Sirromet Signature Collection Viognier 2010, Granite Belt, Qld

 "An interesting one to match here as the rich, earthy flavour of the black olives might suggest a red wine, but some reds might overpower the flavour, so best to stick with a white. Also, the oil from those olives will need the acid of a white to cut through it. Trying to keep with the local theme, I have chosen a white from probably the best known winery from Queensland’s expanding industry. This Viognier from Sirromet has the spicy accents to go toe to toe with any additional spices you choose to throw in, whilst also having the ripe fruit to pick out that beautiful fresh fig flavour. Get out there and try some Queensland wine – you won’t be disappointed." - Dan Coward

Using a food processor, blend all the ingredients for a few seconds. Do not over blend; the tapenade should not be too smooth. If you don’t have a food processor, very finely chop the ingredients, combine and mix well. Serve on crackers, flatbread or toasted bread.

If you are using a pre-made pure olive paste, blend the figs and capers separately and then place in a bowl with the olive paste and hand mix everything together. If you were to mix already prepared olive paste with the other ingredients using a blender, the excess working of the paste will act to release the olive oil from the paste into the mix.