Olive Tapenade and Muhumarra


Two lovely, zingy Mediterranean dips…. superb with hot Pitta or a fresh Baguette, as a snack or with some salad a light meal.  With the three other “dips” of my June 10th Post (Hommous, Moutabal (smoky aubergine dip) and Skordalia (Garlic Sauce), you have a delectable quintet of buffet or party openers.

Houmos, salad, bread, wine

Tapenade of Black Olives and Garlic

This is a Provençale dip that is ideal for summer, as the basis for a light lunch or part of a buffet table. The only part that bugs me, with my clumsy fingers, is shelling the lightly-boiled eggs!


100 g of pitted black olives (preferably Kalamata)
50 g unsalted almonds, skins on, chopped
2 soft boiled eggs (2 minutes), cooled and shelled
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp wine vinegar (Balsamic for preference)
1 tbsp of thick chicken stock (optional)
3 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of tarragon
Salt and pepper


  • Put everything except the olive oil, tarragon and seasoning into your food processor and whizz until you have a paste.
  • Drizzle in the olive oil little by little, and whizz until you have a nice spoonable blend. Season.
  • Put into a small bowl, sprinkle over the tarragon.
  • Serve with crispy heart-of-lettuce leaves, sliced, tomatoes, slivers of carrot, green pepper and cucumber and fresh bread.


Makes one cup/small shallow bowlful

2 medium sweet (“Bell”) peppers
cup of Walnuts
¼ cup toasted bread crumbs
1 small clove garlic or to taste, crushed with a pinch of salt to make a smooth paste
1 coffee spoon of seeded and finely chopped hot red chilli pepper or to taste.
1 des-spoon Pomegranate Syrup or bottled pomegranate molasses
2 tsp freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice or to taste
2 pinches of salt or to taste and ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
Chopped fresh mint leaves or parsley
Small Mediterranean black olives or toasted pine nuts


  • Open sweet peppers and discard seeds and stalk.
  • Heat grill to very hot.
  • Grill peppers until skin is blackened and bubbly.
  • Cool peppers and then scrape or otherwise remove blackened skin. Cut them into slices.
  • In your food processor place the walnuts, bread crumbs, garlic, chilli pepper, pomegranate syrup, and lemon juice and whiz until the mixture is smooth.
  • Add the bell peppers and salt and blend until the peppers are puréed.
  • Drizzle in a quarter cup of the olive oil and whizz. The mixture should be quite creamy, but still with some slightly grainy texture.
  • Remove into a small bowl, cover and chill for a few hours.
  • Before serving, drizzle a little olive oil around the edge of the bowl(s) and garnish with chopped mint and a sprinkling of the olives.
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