Eggplant Tapenade

George Levinthal


My mom used to make chopped eggplant with onion and pimento. We would spread it on a slice of Jewish rye bread and have a feast. I've taken her recipe and updated it with peppers, Kalmata olives and Mediterranean spices. It's great for large or small groups. This recipe was for a 40+ person open house but you can scale it down for the quantity you need. Enjoy, and thanks mom, you're loved and missed.

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40 - 50


30 Min


1 Hr




6 large
1 c
diced red onion
1 c
diced sweet red pepper
1/2 c
each of diced yellow and orange sweet peppers
1/2 c
chopped kalmata olives
3 tsp
finely chopped or minced garlic
1 tsp
kosher or sea salt
1 tsp
fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp
za'atar (mediterranean spices)
1/4 c
extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp
lemon zest, grated
long baguettes
1 tsp
paprika for garnish

Directions Step-By-Step

(NOTE: If you don't have or can't find Za'atar, combine 1 tablespoon each oregano, sumac, cumin, and sesame seeds, and 1 teaspoon each Kosher salt and black pepper. Makes about 1/4 cup and can be stored for later uses.)
Wash off the eggplants, cut off the top and place on a large cookie sheet. Prick a few holes in each eggplant with a fork.
Bake in a pre-heated 375 deg oven for 60 minutes or until the skin has shriveled and a long fork will pierce the eggplant easily. Remove for the oven and let cool about 15 minutes before handling.
While the eggplant is baking and cooling, cut up the onions, and peppers and chop or mince the garlic set aside.
When cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the eggplant and discard. Put the meat of the eggplant and the seeds in a colander and squeeze out some of the liquid, but don't press it all. Put in a large mixing bowl.
Using a potato masher, mash the eggplant to the consistency that you prefer. I like to keep it somewhat chunky so it's not just a puree. This could also be done in a food processor. Add the peppers, onions, garlic and the salt, pepper, Za'atar and lemon zest and combine thoroughly. Slowly add the olive oil, a little at a time, to coat all of the tapenade, but not so it's very oily. Sprinkle on the paprika. Cover and refrigerate. This can be done the day before. It's almost better that way.
When you're ready to serve it, slice the baguettes on a bias into about 1/4" thick slices and top each slice with some of the tapenade and serve. As an option, you can leave it in a serving bowl, spread the sliced baguette on a serving plate and let everyone take their own. Slices of pita bread would work just as well. For smaller groups, reduce the measurements accordingly. Enjoy.

About this Recipe

Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: Mediterranean
Dietary Needs: Dairy Free, Kosher, Low Carb
Other Tags: Quick & Easy, Healthy, Heirloom