Olive Tapenade and Bruschetta with Crostini

It's summer, so go on and indulge in an appetizer feast for dinner tonight, with recipes inspired by the succulent tomatoes and olives of the Mediterranean

Credit: Catherine Roscoe Barr

It’s hard to imagine a better combination than a smooth red wine paired with goat cheese, olives, tomatoes and cured meats

On a sunny summer night having an appetizer feast for dinner doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. On the menu tonight: olive tapenade, bruschetta, goat cheese and cured meats with crostini and red wine

Eating well is serious business in my family. On a recent trip to visit my parents in Victoria I didn’t want to let the ball drop so I arrived with olive tapenade, bruschetta, crostini, and a beautiful, flower-topped goat cheese from the Salt Spring Island Cheese Company that my ever-thoughtful friend Lana gave to me.

I also took a bottle of red wine but wasn’t crazy about it, and wished I’d stuck with the amazing bottle I’d brought to our family reunion in Ucluelet last month. Not one to shy away from guiding the lily, my dad also added a selection of cured meat to our appetizer feast.

The olive tapenade recipe is from New World Provence: Modern French Cooking for Friends and Family, a cookbook written by Provence Restaurants‘ owners and chefs Alessandra and Jean-Francis Quaglia. I tried it at their West Point Grey location a few weeks ago and knew it would be a hit with my parents. The bruschetta recipe is from my trusty The Complete Canadian Living Cookbook, but I added a balsamic reduction just to get in on the lily guilding action.

Olive Tapenade


  • 1 cup Nicoise olives (may substitute with Kalamata)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp capers
  • 1 1/2 tbsp garlic, chopped (about 2 large cloves)
  • 6 anchovy filets
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  1. Mix all ingredients in food processor until incorporated and smooth.
  2. Serve with crostini.



  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • generous pinch each of salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar


  1. In small saucepan over medium-low heat, simmer vinegar until syrupy and reduced by half.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let sit for at least 10 minutes to let flavours mix. 
  3. Serve with crostini.


Catherine Roscoe Barr, BSc Neuroscience, is a Vancouver-based writer, editor, and fitness professional. Before settling on the west coast she lived in Sydney, Toronto, Oregon, Montana, and practically everywhere in Alberta. She can be found jogging with her adorable dog, dining with her fabulous husband or voraciously reading anywhere comfy.