Bruschetta with Olive Tapenade Recipe

This quick-and-easy appetizer can also serve as heartier bites with optional meat or plant-based proteins to bring a little something for everyone to the table
Bruschetta with Olive Tapenade

Photography Terry Brennan, Food Styling Lara Miklasevics

An easy and adaptable appetizer is one of those recipes you’ll go to again and again. And as the weather heats up, and we would rather spend less time in the kitchen and more time on the patio or in a lounge chair, outdoor grill-friendly recipes such as this are the ticket. (Of course, if the weather isn’t cooperating or you’d rather prepare this indoors, we have you covered with those instructions too.)

Easy and packed with sun-ripened flavor, this is one appetizer that appeals to vegetarians and satisfies meat-lovers while sparing the cook, says cookbook author Pat Crocker, who created this recipe for Real Food. For more plant protein, she suggests swapping in a bean spread such as hummus for the tapenade, if you’d like.

Plus, scroll down for a roundup of additional appetizer ideas I have highlighted and pulled together here for your easy access to more light or hearty bites.

Bruschetta with Olive Tapenade

Makes 4 to 6 Servings

For the Tapenade
¾ cup sliced green olives, drained
½ cup sliced black olives, drained
¼ cup flat parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil

For the Bruschetta
1 baguette or country loaf of bread, sliced crosswise into 1-inch slices
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
Fresh basil leaves (optional)
Extra olive oil, for drizzling
Shredded prosciutto, deli turkey, or ham (optional, 2 tablespoons per serving)

  1. Combine tapenade ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse about 7 times, stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pulse 4 to 6 times, watching carefully so that the mixture is chopped but not pureed. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  2. Preheat grill or oven to 375°F. Grill bread slices for about 45 seconds or until golden, flip and grill on opposite side about 30 seconds or until toasted.
  3. Spread tapenade over grilled bread slices. Top each slice with a slice of tomato and a basil leaf if using. Drizzle with ½ teaspoon olive oil. Grind salt and pepper over.

Fast Flex Option: Omit the tomato and top each grilled bruschetta slice with tapenade, 2 tablespoons (per serving) shredded prosciutto, and basil leaf, if using. Drizzle with ½ teaspoon olive oil. Grind salt and pepper over.

Cook’s Note: It’s easy to make the tapenade but you can also use a prepared one—look for tapenade in the condiments section of the grocery store.

Nutrition info Bruschetta with Olive Tapenade with prosciutto (per serving): Calories: 340, Fat: 16g (Sat: 2.5g), Cholesterol: 5 mg, Sodium: 1270 mg, Carb: 41g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 10g

Mediterranean White Bean Hummus

Photography Terry Brennan, Food Styling Lara Miklasevics

Hungry for More?

Here is a roundup of appetizers and light bites I have highlighted for various occasions here, but they can also work for any get-together.

Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts and Spiced Caramelized Nuts Recipes

These simple yet sumptuous appetizers are sure to win the “best bites” category at your party.

Crab Cakes with Old Bay Remoulade Recipe

These crab cakes dish up Mid-Atlantic shore flavor for an elegant appetizer or light dinner.

Juicy Jewels

Antioxidant-rich pomegranates provide unique juicy flavor for snacking or in these recipes from appetizers and salad to dessert.

Chipotle Pear Quesadillas

Looking for an appetizer or a light meal? Pears and cheese are natural partners to begin with, but the marriage is much livelier if you add heat, both from chilies and from the oven.

Beef and Bacon Meatballs in a Bacon-Flavored Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Bacon. Bacon in meatballs. Bacon-y barbecue sauce atop said meatballs. Need we say more? These tasty little gems by meat expert Bruce Aidells make an ideal appetizer—for meat-eaters.

Thai Turkey Meatballs

These easy-to-make exotic-flavored meatballs (also by meat expert Bruce Aidells) work equally well atop rice for a main dish or as hors d’oeuvres—with optional green curry or Asian dipping sauce.

5 Globally Spiced Meatball Recipes

Roll out delicious takes on the ever-popular savory spheres.

Take a Dip: Classic Smooth Hummus Recipe with Variations

Enjoy a traditional hummus blend or easily change it up with peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and more

Mediterranean White Bean Hummus Recipe

A different savory dip for veggies, crackers, or bread will be a welcome change of pace in this season of sweets.

Chocolate Hummus Recipe

Take a dip into a surprising, protein-rich sweet companion for fruit and more

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.