Ever since I was a little girl I have loved olives.  My mom always had a platter of nibbles out during family holiday feasts.  The platter included cut celery, carrots, gherkins and olives.  I would eat green olives with pimento and black olives until my mom would have to remind me to save some for our guests.  I used to put the black olives on my fingers…did you ever do that?

Image via French Essence

Anyway, here are a couple of recipes that I recently used as an appetizer and I thought I’d share them because a) they are super simple and b) because if you love olives, like me, you will love the taste of these heavenly olive-based hors d’ oeuvres.

The tapenade recipe is in this book, or you can cut and paste the recipe I’ve posted below.

I don’t think my olives came from Italy, maybe Spain, but these images of olive groves were too pretty to pass up.

Silver Palate’s Tapenade


  1. Combine black and green olives, anchovy fillets, garlic, capers, tuna, lemon juice and basil in bowl of a food processor fitted with steel blade. Process until smooth.
  2. With motor running, dribble in the oil to make a thick, fluffy sauce. For a lighter sauce, blend in the mayonnaise.
  3. Taste, and correct seasoning. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Will keep, refrigerated, for 1 week.


Italian Guacamole (Funny name for a delicious spread)


  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and quartered
  • 1-15 ounce can artichoke hearts (in water), drained and quartered
  • 3 ounces *large green olives (about 10-11)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & 1/4 teaspoon pepper


Place garlic in bowl of food processor along with artichoke hearts and olives.  Pulse until chopped well.  Then with processor on drizzle olive oil into mixture until assimilated.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Before serving mix in chopped parsley.  Serve with pita chips or crackers or sliced, fresh baguette.

*I used the large green olives from Trader Joe’s that are stuffed with jalapeno.  I took the jalapeno out of about half of the olives and left it in for the half…this gave the spread a tiny kick.