Shiitake Mushroom Tapenade

Tapenade isn’t the prettiest food to look at but it sure packs a flavor punch.  It’s made traditionally with olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil.  Despite containing only a few ingredients, this simple preparation is really flavorful with a salty, briny, even meaty mouthfeel.   Part of the reason it tastes so good is because of it’s umami-rich ingredients.  I recently had the idea of trying to boost the umami flavor even further with the addition of shiitake mushrooms.

Tapenade is much more versatile than it’s traditional use as a spread for hors d’oeuvres. I like to use it top pasta with fresh tomatoes and basil for a simple week night meal. Or use it to as a sandwich topper.  You could even substitute it for dip and serve it with raw veggies.

Shiitake Mushroom Tapenade

Author: David Moser


  • 4 oz shiitake mushrooms chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic minced
  • 4 oz kalamata olives pitted
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • ⅛ cup olive oil + 2 teaspoons


  1. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to a 12 inch skillet.
  2. Over high heat sauté the mushrooms till browned. Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse till the texture of a course paste is achieved.