Citrus-Olive Tapenade

This citrus-olive tapenade is filled with lemon-orange flavors, olives, and fresh herbs. Thanks to its citrus notes it’s perfect for lamb, chicken, and strong-flavored fish.

Citrus-Olive Tapenade

This tingling citrus-olive tapenade is filled with lemon and orange citrus zest and fresh herbs that make for a potpourri of flavors that fill the mouth with a bang.–Stacey Printz

Citrus-Olive Tapenade

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 10 M
  • Makes about 1 cup
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  • 1 1/2 cups pitted green olives
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest of 1 orange, preferably organic
  • Zest of 1 lemon, preferably organic
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves (flat-leaf or curly)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 small dried red chile, crushed
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  • 1. Place the olives, garlic, orange and lemon citrus zests, lemon juice, parsley, rosemary, fennel seeds, and red chile into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture starts to come together. With the machine running, gradually stream in the olive oil and mix until a coarse paste is formed.
  • 2. Season the citrus-olive tapenade with salt and pepper.

Serving Suggestions

  • Stuff the tapenade under the skin of chicken breasts with feta cheese and bake.
  • Drizzle lamb chops with orange juice and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill and top with the tapenade.

Recipe Testers Reviews

This Citrus-Olive Tapenade is a little different from the traditional French tapenade I always prepare for family and receptions. It’s very easy to prepare and in my kitchen there are always all the ingredients, as I’m considered a spice-and-herb collector.

Like in many recipes with citrus, here too, the size and quality of the fruit were not given; it’s known that there are many kinds of lemons and oranges—their sizes are not the same and the quality of the zest is different in every region and season. Now, during the winter in our region, the citrus are very large and heavy and have a nice zest that is very tasty. I’m sure that during the summer, I’ll need 2 lemons for the same recipe and the zest will be drier with a bitter taste. I think that in these technological times, when people can read the same recipe all over the world, it’s important to give precise quantities of fruit or vegetables. So, since the citrus zests were great, they gave me a little more than a cup of spread.

I used the tepanade as suggested, with chicken parts, but without feta. It was served on pasta mixed with zucchini and we liked it very much. I tried a little on bruschetta, but it was less interesting. It’s much better on the chicken.


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