Tapénade, a dish of the Provençal region of south-east France and specific to Marseille, was originally made by pounding fresh capers with anchovy fillets in a mortar, gradually drizzling olive oil and lemon juice into the mixture, finishing with a grinding of black pepper.
This mixture was added to pounded hard-boiled egg yolks and stuffed into halved eggs, then served as an hors d’œuvre.
Over time stoned black olives were added to give the tapénade depth, and to allow it to be served pâté-like. Some recipes called for tuna fish, others for garlic, herbs and mustard.
Tapénade remains a dish of Provence, because the ingredients – especially the capers (which give this sauce its name) – need to be fresh.
Tapénade – 1
100 g anchovy fillets 100 g capers, fresh 30 ml olive oil 1 lemon, juiced Black pepper, pinch Brandy, splash 8 hard-boiled eggs, halved length-wise, yolks retained
Pound the anchovies and capers in a mortar (or blender), add oil, brandy and sufficient lemon juice to make a sauce, thicken with the hard-boiled yolks, season with pepper.
Stuff the mixture into the eggs, serve with a drizzle of the tapénade over each halved egg.
Tapénade – 2
275 g black olives, pitted 100 g anchovies in olive or sunflower oil 100 g capers, fresh or brined 100 g tuna in oil (optional) 60 ml olive oil 1 lemon, large, juiced 10 g mustard 4 garlic cloves, crushed 1 bay leaf, crushed
Blend everything in a food processor, serve on toasted fresh bread.