Mimsy Were the Borogoves

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Olive-basil tapenade

Jerry Stratton, December 10, 2006

With the holiday season in full swing, easy-to-make snacks are in demand. This variation on the tapenade is fast, and the tapenade itself is tasty baked or “raw”.

Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 lemon’s juice
  • 15 leaves basil
  • 5.75 oz can pitted black olives (about 27 olives)
  • 1/2 tblsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 12-15 slices french bread
  • 5 oz goat cheese
  • olive oil for pan


  1. Preheat the oven and a large, heavy pan to 325F.
  2. Reserve 3 of the black olives if you wish for presentation.
  3. Chop the basil, with the lemon juice, in a food processor.
  4. Add the olives and chop until coarse.
  5. Add the sea salt and olive oil and mix in.
  6. Spread the olive mix onto the french bread slices.
  7. Slice the goat cheese into thin slices and place on top of each bread slice.
  8. Remove the heavy pan from the oven and spread just enough olive oil to evenly cover the pan.
  9. Put the slices into the pan and bake for 10 minutes, until crispy on bottom and the cheese has just a touch of brown.

This snack eschews the anchovies and capers that are required for a true tapenade. In their place it uses lemon juice and basil.

I use Trader Joe’s seeded baguette for the french bread. If you have any tapenade mix left over after spreading it on the bread, save it for adding to the serving plate. I also like to reserve three olives for placing on the serving plate as well.

The tapenade mix is great on its own as a dip or salsa for toast, bread, or chips.

  1. <- Mojito
  2. Salmon Curry ->