This is a great tomato salad that makes the most of juicy ripe tomatoes when they're in season! French influence with the use of black olive tapenade, the salty tang of the tapenade adds flavour interest while bringing out the sweetness in the juicy tomatoes. If you've got a jar of tapenade lying around, this will take minutes to prepare. Otherwise, it's worth making your own - freshly made tapenade has real olive flavour unlike any you can buy in a jar!
Prep Time15 minutesmins
Course: Side Salad
Cuisine: French, Western
Keyword: olive tapenade, tomato salad
Servings: 4- 6 people
5tomatoes, medium sized, sliced into 1cm/ 0.2" thick rounds
1/2cupflat leaf parsley leaves, left whole or roughly torn
Extra olive oil, for drizzling
1cupkalamata or other black deli olives, preferably unpitted (Note 1)
2tspcapers, drained or rinsed (if packed in salt), chopped
1garlic clove, medium, minced
1large or 2 small anchovy fillets(Note 2), minced
1/4tspred or white wine vinegar
4 - 5tbspextra 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.
1. Olives - Do not use the black olives you find unrefrigerated in jars on supermarket shelves, they lack the intense olive flavour and briny tang that is the heart and soul of tapenade. Buy fresh olives either from a deli or deli section of supermarkets, or in refrigerated tubs.Try to buy olives that are unpitted and pit them yourself, because they have better flavour and are less soggy. The easiest way to pit olives I find is just squash them with your fingers or the flat of a knife, and pull out the seed.You can use green olives if you wish but it’s less traditional and will look more like a pesto.2. Anchovies - can substitute with 1/2 tsp anchovy paste. If you leave them out, add another teaspoon of capers instead.3. Tapenade leftover - You'll probably have leftover tapenade, it is hard to make a smaller batch. But it's a bonus! It will keep for 2 weeks easily. Use for:
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.
4. Nutrition per serving assuming 6 servings, assuming half the tapenade is used.