Green and Black Olive Spreads – The Ultimate Recipes

black olive spreadWith the Middle Eastern olive season in full swing, it’s natural to think of cooking with those fleshy, savory olive morsels. If you’ve been lucky enough to get olives pickled on the farm, as I did at the Olive Branch Festival in Israel, most of your work has been done for you.

But if raw olives turn up at your local market, don’t just walk past them – pickle them yourself. And we even show you how to choose the best raw olives.

You can consider olive spreads as vegetarian alternatives to meat-based patés. But where olive trees grow, people naturally make farmhouse olive spreads for slathering on fresh bread. These recipes hearken back to centuries of olive farming and the traditional resources of the farm wife’s kitchen. Olive oil is, of course, one of the 60 must-haves of the Middle-Eastern pantry.

You can make these spreads too, even if you live far from any olive tree. Pitted canned or jarred olives work fine.

The following recipes are translated  from “The Olive Cookbook” (Hebrew) by Ruth Keenan.

Black Olive “Caviar”


100 grams black olives, pitted

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

Pulse all ingredients in a food processor or blender until you have a grainy, spreadable paste. Remove to a jar and store in the refrigerator up to a week.

green olive spreadGreen Olive Spread


100 grams green olives, pitted

1 garlic clove, peeled

100 grams unsalted butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon salt

Pinch black pepper

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Pulse the olives and garlic in the food processor until fine grains. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until a spreadable paste. Store in glass jars, in the refrigerator. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving.

Some of our delicious recipes with olive oil:

Images of Black Olive “Caviar”  and Green Olive Spread via Shutterstock.



About Miriam Kresh

Miriam Kresh is an American ex-pat living in Israel. Her love of Middle Eastern food evolved from close friendships with enthusiastic Moroccan, Tunisian and Turkish home cooks. She owns too many cookbooks and is always planning the next meal. Miriam can be reached at miriam (at) greenprophet (dot) com.

3 thoughts on “Green and Black Olive Spreads – The Ultimate Recipes

  1. Ranjit Wijeratne

    Karin… your stories are so very interesting … and informative and… the olive recipes are great ! Keep writing !! Ranjit and Kuveni Wijeratne.. Sri Lanka

    • Karin Kloosterman

      It depends on what kind of olives you buy and how long they have been marinated for. After having access to so many varieties of fresh pickled olives it’s hard for me to eat from the can. You can also do it yourself.


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