Green olive tapenade recipe that’s easy, vegan, flavorful, & quick! Bursting with refreshing, zesty, & light Italian flavors while simultaneously pairing with Mediterranean flavors. This green olive tapenade is perfect for summer gatherings however a healthy option for any season!
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This dish was first inspired by a chef friend who made a similar one years ago. After pulling further inspiration from a past clients dining experience she had what was surprisingly a tuna tartare that she detailed to me. While this isn’t anything like a tuna tartare, the flavors and ingredients she described certainly aligned with these Italian olive spread staples. This green olive dip blossomed into a spread that soon became a consistent favorite in their home. Most green olive recipes are main course dishes, not appetizers making this a refreshing starter appetizer for your next gathering.
What is Green Olive Tapenade?
Tapenade has roots in and around most European countries however it is most common in France, Italy, and Spain, all of which have different renditions. France is mostly made up of a base of black or green olives, anchovies, & capers while Italy is primarily black olives, and capers are removed. As time has passed, this delicious recipe for tapenade has evolved greatly.
How do you make green olive tapenade? This vegan tapenade is incredibly easy to make as it only requires soaking of the nuts and pulsing the ingredients in a food processor!
What is tapenade used for? This green dip can be used for a variety of dishes such as a base for a caprese salads, topping for a crunchy GF sourdough bread, roasted red pepper soup topping, used in a garlic dipping oil, & even pairing it with my breaded chicken recipe or salmon. However, my favorite way to eat this is with crunchy interior romaine leaves.
Is olive tapenade healthy? In this recipe, we add an ingredient that has a subtle sweetness, making it nutrient-dense compared to a traditional tapenade recipe. Raw almonds create further flavor & and when paired with garlic, olives, and shallots, we create a complete protein snack even when making this a vegan tapenade recipe! Without the addition of these ingredients, it would lack amino acids.
Does tapenade always have anchovies? For the most part, yes. The classic style of preparation will almost always call for anchovies however this recipe is anchovies-free.
How long will almond tapenade last in the fridge? This will last for up to 1.5 weeks…if it makes it that far! It never lasts beyond 2 days in my home!
More Ways To Serve This Vegan Dip
Serve it with other dips: While this green olive tapenade will certainly steal the show it pairs well with other dips such as my whipped hummus, almond fennel crackers, and of course, ajvar! Pairing all of these dips together with many dipping choices is the most ideal for a day or night of entertaining.
Serve it with extra oil: Planning on using the roasted garlic recipe to serve with this dish? Be sure to use a bit of the flavorful oil to serve around the tapenade. If desired, enjoy a subtle dash of smoked paprika over the tapenade to help make the dish more visibly vibrant.
Style it pretty: If planning all of the above, I recommend adding your dips to smaller bowls and placing on your platter first. Fill in the blank space around the dips to ensure your platter is fully stocked, and beautifully detailed.
Histamine Intolerence Information:
If you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, it’s important to understand that most olives are a fermented food. A common question I get with this recipe is: Are olives low histamine? Sadly they are not. Through the process of lactic acid fermentation or a type of bacteria that is beneficial to our gut microbiome, olives become fermented. This is beneficial for most individuals but it does have downfalls for the MCAS community.
While the fermentation of olives is much longer than wine, my belief is there is a correlation between anaphylaxis due to sugar-rich/carb-rich fermented products vs. low sugar/low-carb fermented products. White wine is 7-12 days of fermentation & olives can be up to 3-7 months but one creates a glucose spike while the other likely does not! Blood sugar is linked to histamine intolerence, which may allow for both to be tolerated based on your syndrome.
Tapenade Tips For Histamine-Intolerence:
- Reduce the amount of green olives and increase the amount of castelvetrano olives. This will ensure you are reducing the amount of fermented ingredients. In my personal experience, I do not react to this recipe at all! Look for refrigerated castelvetranos vs. jarred as they are a shorter fermentation or not at all.
- Increase the amount of almonds if desired & adjust your seasonings and olive oil content. Since olives bring moisture and flavor to this recipe, add in additional basil, oregano, and adjust your ingredients.
- If you are nervous to consume a ferment, substitute green olives with castelvetrano olives, or broiled roasted red peppers. Castelvetrano olives are luckily a ferment-free olive choice most times. Be sure to buy them fresh in the prepared food section of your store or in a bagged version in the refrigerated section. Keep in mind that vinegar should not be an added ingredient! Roasted red peppers are an option too yet will make a different style recipe!
- Use in 1-2 days to reduce histamine build-up. When we leave leftovers in our fridge, the amount of histamine in our food increases. Reduce your histamine exposure by enjoying immediately or within 1-2 days.
Green Olive Tapenade
- 1-2 tbsp chopped shallot
- 1 cup soaked & peeled raw almonds
- 1 can medium green olives (6 oz each)
- 1 jar castelventrano olives (RINSE!) (6-8 oz)
- 1/4-1/2 tsp himilayan salt
- 2-3 tbsp fresh oregano (do not use dried)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (do not use bottled)
- 1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small-medium garlic clove recipe linked above!
- 1 carton basil (.50 oz)
- 1/8+ tsp maple or honey if sweetness is needed
- fresh basil leaves for decoration
- freshly chopped oregano
- smoked paprika OR sumac
- quality olive oil
- freshly cracked black pepper
- Start off by soaking your almonds in water overnight. If you need to speed up the process you can use boiling hot water to help peel them quicker. (If you choose this method you'll need to refrigerate the almonds until cold)
- Next, finely mince your shallot and garlic clove and add to a larger bowl. Add your lemon juice over your shallot and garlic.
- After this, finely chop your oregano. (This is key to the recipe! Do not use dried oregano as it will ruin the recipe!) **If you cannot have fresh oregano: omit & use tarragon instead!**
- Follow this by peeling all of your almonds and adding the peeled almonds to your food processor. Rinse your castelventrano olives and drain your green olives. (I do not rinse mine but please check for excess sodium)
- Follow by pulsing the ingredients until they are fairly broken apart.
- Next, add your mixture to your bowl and follow by removing the stems of your basil and adding the leaves to your food processor and pulse with your oil.
- Once your mixture has come together, reserve in the bowl and stir all of your ingredients together.
- Lastly, add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine, following with salt and a bit of freshly cracked pepper. Stir, taste, and adjust as needed.
- Reserve in a sealed container for up to 1 week! Serve with crackers, crunchy romaine leaves, or fresh veggies.
More Recipes To Enjoy With This Green Dip Recipe
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