Olive tapenade is a delicious, salty, and slightly acidic condiment made from olives, capers, olive oil, and sometimes anchovies or other spices.
It’s perfect for spreading on crusty bread or crackers or as a vegetable dip.
If we are to compare, the closest thing to olive tapenade would be hummus, the Mediterranean delight.
Both are mainly considered dips that have similar uses.
The main difference is that while olive tapenade uses olives as the star ingredient, hummus uses chickpeas.
Now, as for the burning question: what to serve with olive tapenade? You’ll have to scroll down to find seven of our favorite picks.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Olive Tapenade?
Did you know you can store olive tapenade for up to 3 months in the freezer?
This means you can make a big batch and always have it on hand when unexpected company shows up or when you need a last-minute appetizer.
Olive tapenade is also very versatile. You can use it as a condiment, a dip, or cooking.
So, each time you scoop out some tapenade from the freezer, you can try serving it with different side dishes, depending on your mood and what you have on hand.
Serving sides with olive tapenade is a good idea to enjoy a wholesome, filling and nutritious meal.
Besides, the suitable side dish can not only complement but also enhance the flavor of your star dip.
What To Serve with Olive Tapenade? 7 BEST Side Dishes
1 – Niçoise Salad
Also called salade niçoise in French and salada nissarda in the Niçard dialect of the Occitan language, the dish originally comes from Nice.
It’s traditionally made from hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, tuna or anchovies, and Nicoise olives with olive oil or vinaigrette dressing.
You’ll also find several variations that include potatoes, shallots, red peppers, artichokes, and cooked green beans.
Either variation tastes good with olive tapenade, so you have two choices.
However, since tapenade contains olives, you can make the salad with potatoes, eggs, cooked green beans, and fresh veggies.
Else, the olives may overwhelm the entire meal.
Serve the salad with tapenade and see how everyone enjoys the meal.
You’ll have fresh, crunchy, creamy, salty, and tangy flavors and textures.
2 – Easy Spaghetti
A simple spaghetti dish can also go along with an olive tapenade.
You don’t have to overdo it with various sauces and dressings because the tapenade will take care of the flavors.
You will find spaghetti noodles made of different grains.
If you’re looking for a healthy option, choose the whole grain or whole wheat variety.
You will need only a handful of ingredients for this dish.
You need spaghetti noodles, Parmesan cheese, fresh garlic, extra virgin olive oil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.
Cook the spaghetti in salted water but don’t make it too salty because the tapenade is already salty and tangy.
Add shredded chicken, turkey, or beef if you want some meat.
Once done, serve it hot alongside the tapenade.
Your guests can enjoy the condiment on top of the spaghetti instead of using other sauces.
3 – Grilled Sweet Corns
They may seem like an unlikely pair, but you can serve grilled sweet corn and olive tapenade side by side, and it’s guaranteed that everyone will love the combo.
Grilled sweet corn has sweet, juicy, slightly smoky flavors with a little char.
Hence, it complements the tangy and salty taste of the tapenade.
It’s also easy to grill corn as you don’t have to add anything except coat it with butter and sprinkle a little salt.
You can grill the corn in pieces or whole, depending on how you want to serve the dish.
Fresh corn tastes best, so you must keep a few points in mind.
The husks should be green, unblemished, and fit snugly.
You can get the frozen variety when the corn isn’t in season, as these will also taste good when grilled and served alongside tapenade.
4 – Crackers and Pita Chips
Crackers and pita chips are crowd-pleasers, and when served alongside tasty dips, they taste even better.
The two snacks also complement the olive tapenade so you can serve them alongside the condiment.
You will find a variety of crackers on the market.
Try the plain or sweet variety, as the tapenade is acidic and salty.
If you have enough time, you can also serve homemade crackers.
You can also make pita chips easily at home.
You just have to cut the pita bread into triangles and bake or fry them.
Dip the snacks in the tapenade or put some of it on top of the crackers and the chips.
Either way, you and your guests are sure to enjoy the combo.
5 – Greek Inspired Salad
Olive tapenade and salads also play out together very nicely.
So, we added Greek salad to the list, and be assured; that you won’t regret serving it with the condiment.
The usual ingredients in a Greek salad consist of cucumbers, feta cheese, tomatoes, onion, kalamata olives, salt, olive oil, and oregano.
You may go easy on the olive oil and olives, so they don’t overpower the dishes.
You could add beet, lettuce, and bell peppers to give the salad a sweet flavor.
It will blend nicely with the salty and acidic tapenade.
6 – Avocado Toast
Toasted bread with avocado spread, what can taste even better than that? Adding olive tapenade on top of it, of course.
The combo is terrific, and you’ll see everyone enjoying it.
Avocado toast is mashed and creamy avocado spread on toasted bread.
You can make it simple without adding any seasoning or sprinkle a little sea salt and drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top.
When served alongside tapenade, it will taste even better.
Simply spread some tapenade on the toast, and you’ll have multiple flavors at once.
You can also include scrambled, poached, or fried eggs on the toast before adding the condiment.
We guarantee that it will taste wonderful.
7 – Polenta
Polenta comes from Northern and Central Italy, and cornmeal is the main ingredient in this dish.
It’s a simple dish but hearty and delicious, and it complements many other foods.
Polenta and olive tapenade are also compatible with each other.
You can add the condiment to the polenta, mix, and enjoy.
You can make creamy polenta with finely ground cornmeal or southern-style grits with coarser grinds.
Both are delicious and will complement the tapenade.
Olive tapenade has plenty of uses, and it goes with many items.
So, when you’re in the mood to serve the condiment, you have plenty of dishes to pair up.
All the dishes mentioned above are simple to make and crowd-pleasers.
Hence, serve them during occasions.
You can also use tapenade in more ways because it tastes good with most foods.