Here’s a knockout dish of three tangy, tasty tapenades in one pretty package. The effect of the vibrant red, green, and black colors is magnificent, and people won’t be able to stop dipping. All three of the tapenades are super easy—put two or three ingredients into the blender, and that’s all.–David Lieberman

Tapenade Trio FAQs

What is tapenade?

Tapenade is the Provençal name for the delicious salty condiment originally made of puréed or finely chopped olives, capers, and anchovies. Its name comes from the Provençal word for capers, tapenas. It’s full of salty, briny, olive flavor that goes a long way as a spread or ingredient.

What should I serve with tapenade?

The tapenades are so flavorful that it’s good to balance them with crostini spread with goat cheese or ricotta. Just serve the cheese with the crostini alongside the tapenades. Any gently flavored crackers, oatcakes, and breadsticks will also do nicely.

What can you do with leftover tapenade?

If you have any tapenade leftover, try mixing it with leftover goat cheese or cream cheese as a great spread for sandwiches. You can also add a little sour cream and have a great dip for raw veggies. Or mix one tapenade into a basic salad dressing such as a garlicky balsamic dressing.

These tapenades come together in no time. Pop them on the table alongside some crackers, oatcakes, or breadsticks, and you’re done. If you’re really pushed for time, you can always sacrifice the colorful presentation and choose just one of them–but once you’ve tried one, we suspect it will be difficult to stop there.

A tapenade trio, black olive, sun-dried tomato, and green olive, in a triple white serving dish.

Tapenade Trio

5 from 1 vote
The tapenades are so flavorful that it's good to balance them with crostini spread with goat cheese or ricotta. Just serve the cheese with the crostini alongside the tapenades.
David Leite
Servings36 servings | Makes 1 1/2 cups each tapenade
Calories94 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Total Time20 minutes


For the sun-dried tomato tapenade

  • 1 cup tightly packed sun-dried tomatoes marinated in oil, (so they’re soft)
  • 2/3 cup olive oil

For the black-olive tapenade

  • 1 1/2 cups tightly packed, pitted black olives
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

For the green-olive-and-caper tapenade

  • 1 1/2 cups tightly packed, pitted green olives
  • 1/3 cup capers, drained
  • 1/3 cup olive oil


  • Purée the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  • Add more oil than called for if the tapenades seem dry or are difficult to purée.
  • Arrange on a small platter or plate so you get all three of the vibrant colors next to each other.
Young & Hungry by David Lieberman

Adapted From

Young & Hungry

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Serving: 2 tablespoonsCalories: 94 kcalCarbohydrates: 1 gProtein: 1 gFat: 10 gSaturated Fat: 1 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 7 gSodium: 228 mgPotassium: 53 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 1 gVitamin A: 86 IUVitamin C: 3 mgCalcium: 8 mgIron: 1 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2005 David Lieberman. Photo © 2005 George Whiteside. All rights reserved.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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  1. I love sundried tomatoes—I might just make all three at our next family get together! Thank you for sharing.

  2. I suggest another tapenade or a sort of tapenade. Add almonds to your olive tapenade. It’s different and surprising for guests. It’s one of my classic dish for dinners. Ingredients are green and/or black olives, crushed almonds, capers, and olive oil.