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Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade

A mezze platter isn’t complete without homemade tapenade to be served with seasonal veggies and crunchy crackers. While your classic tapenade includes Italian olives, our favorite way to make the spread is by quick roasting sweet red bell peppers and blending them with rich pine nuts and a bunch of fresh basil. It’s a cool dish for waning summer days.

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Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade

  • Author: Misfits Market


Sweet roasted red bell peppers combined with toasted pine nuts and garlic makes for a perfectly cool spread for crackers, fresh veggies, and more.


  • 4 red bell peppers, washed, dried, and quartered with core removed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
  • Salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 500° or turn on the broiler.
  2. Set aside a medium-sized airtight container.
  3. Place quartered red peppers onto a medium baking sheet that’s been lined with parchment paper. Drizzle peppers with olive oil.
  4. Place the tray on the middle rack of the oven. Watch carefully as the peppers begin to blister and turn black, about 2-3 minutes Once blistered, remove tray from the oven.
  5. Use tongs or a fork to peel and remove the skins, then transfer the skinned peppers to an airtight container. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, use a small pan to dry roast garlic cloves and pine nuts over medium heat until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.
  7. When ready, transfer peppers, garlic cloves, pine nuts, tomato paste, and fresh basil into a food processor. Blend until combined. Season with salt to taste.
  8. Transfer tapenade to a serving dish and pair with freshly cut vegetables, toasted baguette chunks, and crackers. 

What’s the difference between pesto and tapenade?

Pesto is an Italian sauce made from crushed garlic, pine nuts, basil leaves, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. It pairs well with pasta dishes, grilled meats, and bread. Tapenade, on the other hand, is more of a spread that’s usually made with capers, black olives, and anchovies. You can also use tapenade on a variety of meats like steak, chicken, and seafood, or serve it as a dip on a snack platter.