Pic of tomato and tarragon salad with tapenade toast

tomato and tarragon salad with tapenade toast

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tomato and tarragon salad with tapenade toast

Starter Serves 4 15 min
Tapenade is a French olive paste and can be eaten as a dip or spread. This recipe is great for sharing as a starter or light lunch. It will make more tapenade than you'll need for one meal, but it's not worth making less, and it keeps well for a few days in the fridge. You could use shop-bought tapenade if you prefer, although making your own is easy and satisfying.


  • For the tapenade toast
  • 200g pitted black olives
  • 2 tbsp capers (if in brine, soak in water for 20 minutes then drain)
  • 3 preserved anchovies
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • leaves from 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley leaves, plus a little extra for garnishing
  • juice of ½ lemon, more to taste
  • about 5 tbsp olive oil
  • slices of ciabatta or sourdough, griddled or toasted
  • For the tomato salad
  • 8 large tomatoes (a few more if smaller)
  • 2 pinches of caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • juice from ¼ of a lemon, more to taste
  • 1 good tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt and black pepper
Image of tomato and tarragon salad with tapenade toast


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 5 min
  • Step 1

    Make the tapenade by blitzing the olives, capers, anchovies, garlic and thyme in a food processor, then adding the parsley, lemon juice and just enough oil to make a rough paste. (If you don't have a food processor, pound the ingredients in a pestle and mortar, then stir in the lemon juice and oil.)
  • Step 2

    Season to taste: you'll need little or no salt, as the mixture is already salty from the anchovies. Thinly slice the tomatoes and arrange on a platter. Sprinkle with the sugar. Whisk the remaining olive oil, lemon juice and mustard together. Taste and add more lemon juice or oil if needed.
  • Step 3

    Pour over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and scatter over the tarragon. Spread the tapenade on to the ciabatta and sprinkle over a little extra parsley. Serve with the tomato salad.

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