Easy Tapenade Salad Dressing

9 09 2008

Who was it that said, “Sloth is the mother of all invention”?  I came up with this dressing sometime last week when I didn’t feel like chopping up a shallot for a vinaigrette.  Searching the kitchen for alternatives, my eyes landed on a recently acquired jar of black olive tapenade from Provence.  What if I just thinned it out a bit with some oil and vinegar?  I bet that would be good!

You know what?  It was.  So good, and so irresistibly easy, that I made it again a couple of nights ago for a salad that accompanied a gooey chorizo and mozzarella pizza.

Feuille de Chêne lettuce, tapenade dressing, and toasted pine nuts

Tapenade Dressing

This super-easy dressing will make even the most boring of lettuces feel decked out, but it would also be great on arugula, spinach, frisée, or just about any salad green.  Garnish with toasted pine nuts, tomatoes, and feta cheese for a more substantial salad.  Grilled or marinated vegetables would most certainly be welcome, as would any number of cured pork products.

2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. tapenade (You can make your own if you’re feeling adventurous, but a good jarred tapenade is perfectly acceptable.)
1 Tbsp. red wine, balsamic, or sherry vinegar (Rosemary-infused vinegar is a nice touch)
4 Tbsp. good olive oil

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk.
  2. Drizzle over salad greens of choice and toss before serving.
  3. Garnish as you see fit.

Makes enough to dress 4-6 salads.  Leftovers will keep several days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Originally published on Croque-Camille.




4 responses

10 09 2008

Ewwwwwwwwwww…I can’t wait to try this. I actually had some lovely little nicoise olives left over from a little snack…guess I could do the same thing!!!
thanks for the idea

10 09 2008

Ooooh, wow. That seems so obvious, and yet, I’ve never thought of that! Thanks! I don’t know if you’ve ever tried purple mustard/moutarde violette (it’s made with grape seeds I think) but that’s also a very nice twist on vinaigrette. It’s a little bit sweet and you can get it in épicerie fine often.

11 09 2008

What a great salad recipe! There are also some great salad ideas at


11 09 2008

Jody – You’re welcome. I bet it’s even better with freshly made tapenade!

Hopie – I know! I really need to delve into the wealth of mustards available here.

Alisa – Thanks!

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