Tapenade, an olive spread native to the South of France, is a lesson in proportions: Too much olive and it overwhelms the other elements; too little and the result is lackluster. Here the olives balance out everything else, for a flavor that’s meaty and briny with just a hint of garlic. Try this tapenade slathered on toast or layered in our Mini Tapenade and Manchego Sandwiches at your next cocktail party.
What to buy: This spread tastes best when made with high-quality ingredients, so look for the best stuff you can find. We made this with an assortment of pitted olives, including kalamata, Cerignola, and Lucques. If you prefer one type of olive over another, go ahead and alter the recipe accordingly.
Anchovies are sold packed in salt or oil; we opted for oil-packed so we could control the salt factor. If you choose salted anchovies, rinse the salt off before using them.
Capers are sold pickled in brine or salted. We used brined capers here, but you could use salt-packed capers if you want; just rinse off all that extra salt.
Game plan: The tapenade will last up to 1 week refrigerated in an airtight container.