Follow by Email

Vegan Food, Family & Travel

Kale & Kalamata Olive Tapenade


When I was little I called tapenade: Olive Stuff

And I loved it. I had to be kept from just eating it with a spoon. I was a weird kid – who liked what I liked.

We used to have it on special occasions like New Years with crostini and I was obsessed with it. In college, I had some vegan green olive tapenade at a Spanish wine and tapas bar and learned this wasn’t just a thing Italians do… in fact tapenade isn’t even Italian or Spanish. It’s a rustic French dish from Provence. Who knew? Besides proper grown-ups and French people. Most versions are vegan but some contain anchovies – which is a real bummer.

Obviously our recipe leaves those little fishes* in the sea. This recipe actually was something I kinda stumbled upon about a year ago when we were in Los Angeles, CA for a Betty Goes Vegan dinner we did at Mohawk Bend with Peta.

Returning from the farmer's market with our bounty... including a sweet David Bowie record.
Returning from the farmer’s market with our bounty… including a sweet David Bowie record.

When we’re in LA, we often stay with our friends Rob** and Anjali. You might remember them from such adventures as the awesome photo at the bottom of Mexican Stuffed Crust Pizza or the immersion blender section in Betty Goes Vegan… their gorgeous DIY wedding also makes a cameo appearance in our next book. While we were in LA for the Mohawk Bend event, we took a trip to one of the truly remarkable farmer’s markets in the Silver Lake area so we could get fresh, organic vegetables, bread and wine for a special dinner of our own. Well, Anjali and I shopped. Dan and Rob looked at records and vintage action figures in the flea market area. That night, Anjali made a wonderful butternut squash risotto and I made this simple tapenade. The ingredients for the tapenade were basically chosen at the market because they were pretty. It was a a really nice night with good food and friends that I remember involved a long passionate debate over The Two Coreys and 80s/90s movies… as every good dinner party should.

It’s one of my favorite memories from the Betty book tour and since then – I’ve made this simple spread at least a dozen times for parties and game nights. Just the other day, my friend Sarah came over and kept me company (and held my ladder) while I shot photos for our next book. I made it for our afternoon snack. I had been holding on to this recipe to put in another book or to submit to a magazine but  today I woke up and it just seemed like the right day to share… and return to our blog.

I know a lot of you are wondering where we’ve been this past month and someday I’ll dive into talking about THE GREAT CARROT BACON DRAMA of 2014 or wax romantic about our babymoon to Kauai. But not today… today is Earth Day and what could be better than an easy vegan green springtime spread you can share with friends to celebrate? It’s a delicious way to remind even the most stubborn of foodie elites that they can stay schmancy and do something for the environment at the same time. Eating vegan is the easiest way to combat climate change and literally save the world! That’s not even me being a prone hyperbole.

So I’ll save my stories for another day – for now let’s save the world!

Kale & Kalamata Olive Tapenade

April 22, 2014


  • 1 bunch Lacinato Kale (about 16 stalks)
  • 3-4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 cup Kalamata Olives, pitted
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • Zest from 1 Lemon
  • Juice from 1 Lemon
  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Baby Spinach Leaves
  • Bread for serving
  • Step 1 Cut the stiff spine out of your kale.
  • Step 2 Toss all your ingredients into a food processor and blend until it makes a smooth paste.
  • Step 3 Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature with bread. You can also serve in a sandwich, with pasta like a pesto or over baked tofu… it’s a pretty versatile recipe.

*Um – how cute are anchovies? Seriously – just adorable!


** Just wanted to send out a congrats to our friend Rob! His comedic series Tesla and Twain has been picked up by NBC Universal for a new video series that’s going to be available on Hulu.  Which just so happens to  feature a scene where these two iconic Americans go to the farmer’s market…

Photo Credit : The Kitchn
Photo Credit : The Kitchn

6 thoughts on “Kale & Kalamata Olive Tapenade”

    • Today for lunch I had some of this on a baked potato… I’m not sure if it still counts as tapenade if it’s on a baked potato. I just know it was heaven – that I ate with a fork! 🙂
      Is it weird I was more into the show The Two Coreys than I was into the actual Coreys when they were in movies? Though I have to admit The Lost Boys was one of the first horror movies I ever saw (at a slumber party) and may have played a role in my future devotion to spooky stuff later. 🙂

  • lol at the photo…I had no idea Twain and Tesla were friends. geez, where have I been? They make quite the cute couple. 😉
    I want one of those frisbeesized portobello caps stuffed with this fabulous tapenade creation…just munch the whole thing all my self. To honor Earth Day, yep, gotta do it. 🙂

Leave a Reply to Bianca- Vegan Crunk Cancel reply

%d bloggers like this: