Spanish Olive Recipes

Spanish olives are wonderful on their own as a snack, but also add interest and depth to a wide variety of cooked dishes. Here are a few recipe suggestions to start with:

Spanish Tapenade (olive and anchovy paste)

A wonderful savoury spread to enjoy on bread or toast on its own, with tomatoes or roasted vegetables or any other way you can imagine.


400g Spanish black olives, pitted and drained • 50g anchovy fillets drained • 75g capers, drained • 2 cloves garlic • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil • a little lemon juice

Put all the ingredients into the food processor and blitz to a paste. Feel free to add more or less of the garlic, anchovies and capers according to your own personal taste. Add more olive oil if necessary to get a consistency that spreads well without being runny. Keeps well in a sealed jar in the fridge for several months.

Pasta with Spanish Olives, Rosemary and Garlic

Pasta may not be a traditionally Spanish dish, but it is often eaten in Spanish homes with a Spanish slant to the sauce. Here is a very quick and simple recipe, making the most of the flavour of the olives. Make sure the olives are just warmed through rather than cooked for too long. You can add ingredients such as chorizo sausage, bacon or a touch of chilli pepper to this basic sauce recipe.


60ml/ ¼ cup Spanish extra virgin olive oil • 3 cloves garlic • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary • about 1 cup of Spanish olives, green or black • salt and pepper • 300g pasta, penne, spaghetti

Put the pasta on to cook first, as this sauce takes only a few minutes to prepare. Roughly chop the garlic. The olives can be added whole or halved according to your own preference. Heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the garlic and rosemary and simmer gently over a low heat until the aroma rises. Don’t let the garlic go brown or it will taste bitter. Add the olives and warm them through. If the pasta isn’t cooked yet, switch off the heat under the sauce until the pasta is done. Drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Pour the hot oil sauce over the pasta in the pan, season with salt and pepper, toss well to cover the pasta and serve immediately.

Green Beans with Spanish Olives

Olives go well with most vegetables, adding a frisson of extra flavour and contrasting nicely with their sweetness. Green beans can be rather a dull vegetable, but here they are livened up with a spritz of lemon juice and the chopped olives, to make a delcious accompaniment to most meat dishes, or a fine salad when served cold.


400g fresh green beans • a generous handful of Spanish olives • half a lemon • 1 tablespoon Spanish extra virgin olive oil • salt and pepper

Top and tail the beans and steam them until they are tender but still retain a little crispness. Don’t let them get too soft or they will go dull and floppy. Chop the olives roughly. As soon as the beans are cooked squeeze the lemon juice over them, toss in the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the chopped olives over them. If they are to be served cold you should still add all the ingredients while hot to allow the flavours to mingle.