Here’s something different for you – a French influenced Tomato Salad with Olive Tapenade! This is a brilliant combination – the salty briny tapenade really brings out the sweetness and juiciness of tomatoes.
Try it. It will surprise you!
Welcome to Day 12 of the inaugural Holiday Salad Marathon, where I’m sharing 30 salads in a row through to Christmas Eve – just for something different to the usual sugar-loaded baking countdowns!!
Today, something FRENCH(ish):
Tomato Salad with Olive Tapenade
This is a great tomato salad reminiscent of the south of France with the use of black olive tapenade.
You can throw this together in minutes if you’ve already got a pre-bought jar of olive tapenade lying around in your fridge, else it’s worth making the tapenade yourself from scratch if you’re just looking to make a tomato salad that’s a little different!
The salty tang of the olive tapenade adds flavour interest while bringing out the sweetness in the juicy tomatoes. A few sprigs of parsley (or basil or oregano if you prefer) to garnish, and you have a colourful plate beaming with summer vibes on your table.
What you need for this Tomato Salad
Here’s what you need – this includes the ingredients for making the olive tapenade from scratch:
Really, the only key thing that matters in the above is JUICY RIPE TOMATOES!! You could just slice them, sprinkle with salt, pepper and olive oil and it’s STILL knock-your-socks-off good!
Anchovy? I get it, not everyone likes anchovies. You can leave them out. If so, add another teaspoon of capers instead.
What is tapenade?
Tapenade is the French name for an intensely savoury, salty paste made of olives, capers, anchovies, garlic and olive oil, usually associated with Provence in the south of France. Other Mediterranean countries have similar preparations, but we’re making the French version here.
It’s typically used as a condiment, a dip or a spread. In our case, we’re using it as a kind of dressing or “pesto” as it goes so well with fresh tomatoes.
And it is literally a dump-and-blitz job (I use my NutriBullet here).
We do make more tapenade than we need because it’s impractical and more difficult to make small quantities of tapenade. But having leftovers is a bonus with this recipe because tapenade is wonderfully versatile and I provide suggestions for uses later in the post. You can never have too much!
Hope you enjoy! – Nagi x
What is the Holiday Salad Marathon?
This is my inaugural Christmas recipe countdown where I am sharing 30 salad recipes in a row until Christmas Eve – something completely different to people’s usual baking countdowns!
These salads are in addition to my regular 3 new recipes a week. Because aren’t you bored of the usual tomato-cucumber-lettuce garden salad routine??
Tomato Salad with Olive Tapenade
- 5 tomatoes , medium sized, sliced into 1cm/ 0.2" thick rounds
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves , left whole or roughly torn
- Extra olive oil , for drizzling
- 1 cup kalamata or other black deli olives , preferably unpitted (Note 1)
- 2 tsp capers , drained or rinsed (if packed in salt), chopped
- 1 garlic clove , medium, minced
- 1 large or 2 small anchovy fillets (Note 2), minced
- 1/4 tsp red or white wine vinegar
- 4 – 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil , use your best stuff!
- Season tomatoes: Place sliced tomatoes into a bowl. Sprinkle over the salt and toss well but gently. Leave to sit for 15 mins, then drain off any liquid the tomatoes have dropped. Meanwhile make the tapenade.
- Pit olives if required. Combine olives, capers, garlic, anchovy and vinegar in a blender or food processor. Smaller is better, eg. a Nutribullet.
- Add 4 tbsp of olive oil and blend until a rough paste forms, scraping down the sides as you go. If the paste is very thick and you are having trouble blending, add another 1 tbsp of olive oil to help it along.
- You should have a nice paste that’s combined to a smooth but not super-fine puree (we want a little character), and isn’t excessively oily.
- Drain your tomatoes one last time, then arrange slices overlapping on a large plate or platter. Dollop over the tomatoes 1/3 of the tapenade, or as much as you feel you want.
- Garnish with parsley leaves. Drizzle salad with a little more olive oil (~1 tbsp). Serve with some remaining tapenade on the side so people can help themselves.
- Stir through cooked pasta! Add more oil or salt it needed;
- Spread on crostini or bread, or dot over creamy layer of ricotta, cream cheese or goat’s cheese. Also great in sandwiches!
- Dollop generously over a ball of fresh buffalo mozzarella or burrata, serve as part of an antipasto platter;
- Use as a dip for crackers or crudites (raw vegetables);
- Serve as a condiment alongside fish, seafood, chicken and even lamb (a very Provençal combination, in fact);
- Toss boiled potatoes in tapenade and chopped herbs of your choice;
- Mix into mayonnaise to give it some perky flavour and colour;
- Combine with softened butter and refrigerate. Use as a flavoured butter on meats or grilled veg.
Life of Dozer
When mum was tasked with picking up a simple dog bed for Dozer for the studio, the next thing I saw her doing was THIS 😂: