Humus-Mushroom Tapenade 

Tapenade is tasty, but tends to be too salty and too heavy for my tastes. I ended up with some gorgeous mixed olives, courtesy of Scuba New York (long story), and wanted to put them to good use. For the basics on how to make a traditional olive tapenade, take a look at Alton Brown’s video:

I lightened it up a bit by adding 1 can each of chickpeas and unsalted mushrooms (store brand “stems and pieces”). It would be good with fresh mushrooms too, pre-sautéed to remove excess moisture. I think it would be magical with assorted exotic mushrooms. The mild ones I used are barely discernable in the final spread, but add a subtle earthy undertone that complements the olives nicely, without it tasting too diluted. 


  • 1/2 pound mixed olives, pitted
  • 2 anchovy fillets, rinsed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 can chickpeas (15 oz, rinsed and drained)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 can unsalted mushrooms
  • 2-4 TB extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 basil leaves


  1. Start with the garlic and the mushrooms in the food processor, and pulse until broken into small pieces. 
  2. Add the chickpeas and mushrooms and pulse until broken up. 
  3. Add remaining ingredients except for olive oil, pulse a few times, scrape down side of bowl, then add oil in thin stream while blade is spinning. 
  4. Adjust seasonings to taste, then allow to rest at least 30 minutes before serving to allow flavours to blend and rawness of garlic to dissipate. 

Pictured: Christmas brunch of anchovy omelette with tomato and basil, topped with the tapenade. 


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