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Pasta Elias: Olive Paste Spread with Garlic (Tapenade)

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Greek Black Olive Paste (Tapenade)

Black Olive and Garlic Paste (Tapenade)

Photo © Jim Stanfield

In Greek: πάστα ελιάς, pronounced PAH-stah el-YAHS

This blend of olives, garlic, oil, and vinegar is a sharp and tangy spread for breads, breadsticks, and vegetables, and the perfect meze to bring out the best in Ouzo or wine.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 3 cups of pitted black (Kalamata) or green olives
  • 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons of Balsamic vinegar or very good wine vinegar
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, grated


Combine all ingredients in the blender and blend for a few seconds until smooth. The paste will be slightly granular.

Serve as a meze with Ouzo or wine, accompanied by small rusks, crusty bread, breadsticks, and/or raw vegetables. Tapanade can also be used as a seasoning for fish, or a topping.

Note: Adjust amount of vinegar to taste. Classic olive paste has a sharp, tart taste.

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