Bella Arte's Olive & Basil Tapenade

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 0 mins

Mom would make tapenade occasionally back in the days when she had to patiently diced everything by hand. Lucky me, I have a food processor!Although there are many tapenade recipes on the site, I decided to go ahead and post this since the 20 or so I read all had either capers, anchovies or lemon juice which this one doesn't. It's also yet another great way to use up the basil from your garden. My husband and I were served this fabulous spread at a wonderful little Italian restaurant in Hot Springs, Arkansas called "Bella Arte" where we ate twice in 4 days during a trip there November 2001. We asked the waiter for the recipe which is something we've never done before or since. He wrote down the ingredients (the little piece of paper is still taped to the inside of one of my kitchen cabinet doors), but didn't know the amounts which he said was up to the preparer. He also made it a point to say don't underestimate the importance of the roasted red peppers and using only fresh herbs. The amounts I've listed are all approximate-you can easily adjust to your liking(and I know you will!) taste and texture-wise. Mine never comes out quite the same twice, but we always love it and I serve it often when I have a group at the house. Note-unless you like food really salty don't add any to this recipe. There is plenty in the canned olives and the parmesan cheese. Process/pulse all the ingredients then add the olives(or at least 1 can) last if you want them to be chunkier and more rustic. Otherwise, the food processor will turn this into a fairly smooth paste pronto. Serve with salt-free bagel-type chips.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Add garlic cloves to food processor; pulse several times to chop.
  2. Add 1/3 cup parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup bread crumbs along with all other ingredients EXCEPT olive oil.
  3. Pulse to blend well while drizzling 1/3 cup olive oil into the mixture.
  4. Taste; add more parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and oil to your liking.
  5. Let sit at least 30 minutes for flavors to meld. Refrigerate leftovers.
  6. Serve with salt-free bagel-type chips.