Spanish Black Olive Tapenade

Delicious Spanish black olive tapenade, a typical food from Mallorca.
Lauren Aloise/Spanish Sabores
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 6 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
131 Calories
10g Fat
12g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 Servings
Amount per serving
Calories 131
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 415mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 0g
Calcium 46mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Spain is home to hundreds of different olive varieties, many of which are used to make the best olive oils in the world. But Spain's table olives are equally impressive, and the colorful variety of table olives available in any local Spanish market is stunning. 

The most typical way to enjoy table olives in Spain is with a cold beer or glass of wine, as a pre-lunch or pre-dinner snack. Olives will also pop up in salads, and occasionally in a savory cooked dish as well. There are even some recipes for sweet sugared olives, an unlikely (but delicious) combination.

The olive trees of the Tramuntana Mountains have been producing delicious olives since Roman times. Farmers choose to pick the olives when they're green, or leave them on the trees until they're overripe and black – these are the perfect variety for their famous olive tapenade. Use the highest quality black olives you can find for the best flavor.


  • 10 1/2 ounces/300 grams of pitted black olives (roughly chopped)
  • 6 medium shallots (minced)
  • 3 tablespoons good quality honey
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large pan heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add the shallots. Turn down the heat and slowly cook the shallots until they start to caramelize. 

  2. Add the roughly chopped black olives to the pan and stir. Let them cook for about one minute and turn off the heat. 

  3. If you have a meat mincer, pass the mixture through. As an alternative, you can pulse the mixture a couple of times in a food processor. 

  4. Add the honey and balsamic vinegar and then mix together with the remaining two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add the sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. You can also adjust the honey and vinegar if you wish.


  • Serve this Mallorcan black olive tapenade on hearty sourdough bread, or with some freshly sliced seasonal vegetables. It can also be used as a spread when making a sandwich or topped on a large green salad as a delicious garnish.