Tuna Tapenade

This recipe for my Tuna Tapenade I love because it can be done in advance. It’s great to serve as Hors d’oeuvre for parties or just if you want to have it as a meal.

Tapenade is an olive spread that is served on bread. In this recipe, I’ve made the star the tuna. This one is made with Italian style tuna I just found in my local grocery store. Of course, you could use regular tuna and that would be delicious.  Let me show you have this recipe comes together.

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley


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Olive Oil

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Toasted Ciabatta Bread

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Kalamata Olives


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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 12 to 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Yields: 8 servings (16 crostinis)
Equipment: 1 (10-cup) food processor, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans

1 (6.7-ounce) jar of Italian style Tuna packed in olive oil and drained (substitute your favorite tuna packed in spring water)
1/2 red onion, diced
3 ribs of celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
4 ounces of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 a lemon, juiced
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped, optional
3 tablespoons Italian falt-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 loaf  of Tuscan Garlic Ciabatta Bread, sliced, (yields 16 slices), substitute plain Ciabatta or a good French baguette

For A Spicy Tuna Tapenade:
Add 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or a Fresno chili, seeded

Directions For Ciabatta Bread:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.

Slice the Ciabatta bread at a 45-degree angle into 1/2 -inch thick slices. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet topped with a rack. Brush the top surface of each slice of Ciabatta lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Place into the oven on the center rack. Bake for 12to 15 minutes, or until the bread is golden. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let the toast cool slightly before adding the toppings.

Note: Each oven may vary slightly in temperature, watch the bread closely to prevent from burning.

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, start with half a red onion and 3 ribs of celery and 3 cloves of garlic. In a food processor fitting with the metal blade pulse until the ingredients are finely minced. I like to give them a head start before adding the other ingredients.

Next, add the tuna, Mascarpone cheese, capers, lemon zest, the juice of half a lemon, Kalamata olives (optional), flat-leaf Italian parsley, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper. Pulse all of these ingredients together until smooth.

When the Tapenade has reached a smooth consistency, it’s done. Taste to make sure you’re happy with the seasoning.

Transfer the Tuna Tapenade to  the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.

If you like a spicier version, at the beginning of the process, you could add some cayenne pepper or add a Fresno chili at the beginning, that would be delicious too.

I like to finsh the Tuna Tapenade with a garnish of finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, a side roasted asparagus and Piquillo peppers, and grilled Ciabatta bread. There you have it, my Tuna Tapenade.