Olive And Pepper Dip - Tapenade

I don't like olives on their own but I can't get enough of this super delicious olive and pepper dip- my version of tapenade. I make it several times a week.

It's easy to make, really healthy and you can use it in so many ways. Add a dollop to a salad, top oat biscuits or bread with a spoonful. For a more substantial meal, stir it through pasta, add a dollop to roasted vegetables and eat it with oven-roasted salmon or chicken.

I eat a very late breakfast-  whether at work or at home – and a favourite is toasted rye bread topped with hummus, this olive and pepper dip, avocado and sometimes a poached egg as well. It is So Tasty!

I am forever trying to add vegetables from the very nutritious cruciferous family - such as kale, broccoli/broccolini and watercress - to my food. The term super food is perhaps somewhat overused but these vegetables really are super nutritious - rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre.

The best way to preserve the nutrients in any vegetable is to eat them raw, or second best lightly cooked. I always have curly kale and broccolini (tenderstem broccoli) at home and while I have added raw kale to things like this dip and pesto for a long time, I have now started to add raw broccolini as well - the stems as well as the florets.

In the dip in the photo above I have added kale, broccolini and parsley. 

The other ingredients in this olive and pepper dip are also highly nutritious.

Olives are a good source of vitamin E, and other important antioxidants, and healthy monounsaturated fats.

Red peppers are low in calories (it’s a low-GL carbohydrate) and a very good source of vitamin A and C.

Walnut and almonds are like all nuts a very good source of essential fats, vitamins and minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron).

Nutritional yeast flakes are an incredibly good source of different B-vitamins (which are vital for our body's energy production) and fibre. It is also a complete protein, it contains all nine essential amino acids. Nutritional yeast has a cheesy taste and can be found in health food shops and well-stocked supermarkets.

Parsley is a rich source of vitamins A, C and K, and also contains the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron.

You don’t need to eat dairy products for calcium intake but you need to make sure you get enough calcium from other types of food. I am mostly on a dairy-free diet (two tests have showed that I’m intolerant to dairy but ) and I get my calcium from foods like nuts and seeds and dark green vegetables like parsley, kale and broccoli. I also add spirulina and baobab to my diet and both contain calcium (baobab has the most calcium though) and many other nutrients.

All the different types of fat in this olive and pepper dip are of the healthy and essential variety - the kind of fats your body need. But it's still a good idea not to eat too much of these healthy fats if you are watching you weight.

For the dip:

100g, 3 1/2oz, pitted olives (any colour)

1 large red pepper (bell pepper), de-seeded and roughly chopped

50g, 1 3/4oz, mix of almonds and walnuts

1 heaped tablespoon nutritional yeast

a large handful of green vegetables - like parsley, kale, broccolini (see above)

2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse for about 20 seconds. This dip will keep for several days in a covered container in the fridge.

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