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.

★★★★★ 1 vote
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

How to Make Eggplant Tapenade


  • 1(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.)
  • 2Wash off the eggplants, cut off the top and place on a large cookie sheet. Prick a few holes in each eggplant with a fork.
  • 3Bake 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.
  • 4While the eggplant is baking and cooling, cut up the onions, and peppers and chop or mince the garlic set aside.
  • 5When 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.
  • 6Using 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.
  • 7When 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.

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About Eggplant Tapenade

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