Clear out the Cauliflower

There was one bag of cauliflower left after I made my gratin the other day, and I like a good tapenade (but I’ve never made one before).  This recipe looked quick and easy, and promised to be a good appetizer to round out all the entrees we have in the house right now (Summer! I want to cook all of the things!).  It’s from July 2015’s Good Housekeeping.

Cauliflower Tapenade

PREP: 0:20


  • 3 c. cauliflower florets (about 12 oz.)
  • 1 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 c. pitted green olives
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Baguette slices or crudités, for serving


  1. In a bowl, combine cauliflower and 2 tablespoons water. Cover; microwave on High 7 minutes or until very soft. Let cool.

In blender, combine oil, olives, green onions, and lemon juice; blend until mostly smooth. Add cauliflower and 1/2 teaspoon salt; blend until smooth, stopping and stirring occasionally. Refrigerate until cool. Makes 2 cups. Serve on baguette slices or with crudités for dipping.

275 cals (serving size not given), 1 g protein, 3 g carbs, 29 g fat (4 g sat fat), 1 g fiber, 390 mg sodium

If you do not like olives, a tapenade is not for you.  It’s an oily relish most often consisting of different olives, capers, pimentos, and sometimes anchovies.  It’s usually salty and briny and fully delicious.  The addition of cauliflower was intriguing, because I love to hide vegetables in things!

Husband is not a huge fan of green olives, so I used Kalamata olives in this recipe. The only other change I made was free pouring my oil instead of measuring.  As I do with hummus, I just add the oil until it looks and feels like the texture I want.  This recipe was a dream to make.  I used my blender, which isn’t always my appliance of choice for recipes like this.  I find the food processor much easier for scraping out the finished product.  But the blender did the job well.


Verdict:  Salty goodness!  I do not love the color created by the black olives.  It reminds me of a bean dip and doesn’t look so appetizing (I think).  But I thought the flavor was great.  Absolutely no sign of cauliflower.  I feel like I overcooked the veggies, because they were practically disintegrating as I moved them from the bowl to the blender, but the recipe did say “very soft”, so it may have been what the recipe intended.  The picture in the original recipe looks just as smooth, so maybe tapenade is a misnomer here.

Husband thought it was very olivey. He didn’t think it was bad, but I think the strength of the olive flavor was a little much for him.  For me, any reason to eat pita or other chips is acceptable, so I loved this spread for multiple reasons.  I would make this again and try different kinds of olives or adding capers or roasted red peppers.  It’s a great party dip and would probably also be yummy in place of mayo on sandwiches or as a pasta salad dressing.



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