Olive Paste

Olive paste is spread on every second sandwich in Bulgaria. On a recent visit home in Cologne I desparately needed some olive paste (for a vegetarian burger) and could not find any in shops around. I didn't search for a long time though because I was pretty sure that it is dead easy to do yourself. That way want of something can become a stroke of luck.

I did not follow any recipe, and - since the olive paste was just an ingredient - I did not try to be very creative. As a sandwich spread I would try out a lot of variations, see below.


  • 100 g black pitted olives
  • 50 g tomato paste (not tomato purée!)
  • 1/2 tsp. harissa
  • 1 medium sized clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil


Prepares in less than one minute.

  1. Peel the garlic.
  2. Throw all ingredients into a high vessel and blend with a food processor until the consistency you want.

The recipe is dead simple and can be easily adopted to your needs or taste.

Das Rezept ist denkbar einfach und sollte je nach Bedarf und eigenem Geschm

You can add raw:

  • walnuts
  • onions
  • cashew
  • hazelnuts
  • peanuts
  • ginger
  • carrots
  • mushrooms

Cooked or sautéed:

  • eggplants (!)
  • beetroot
  • beans
  • mushrooms
  • onions

Or canned food:

  • tuna
  • sardines
  • capers
  • anchovy
  • read beans
  • white beans
  • dried tomatoes

Replace the tomato paste and harissa from my base recipe with capers and anchovy, and you have tapenade.

By the way, it is better to pit the olives yourself because unpitted olives simply taste better.

The olive paste contains a lot of fat and is good for quite a long time. Cling foil will prevent it from drying for a couple of days. If you cover it with oil it should be good for two weeks. Deep-frozen at -18 °C you can keep it for months. The exact times, of course, depend on the ingredients you picked.

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