A tapenade is truly a Provencal dish consisting of pureed or finely chopped olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil. It's name comes from the provencal word for capers, "tapenas". Although there now are many versions of tapenade on the market, the originals were based around olives...most commonly black olives....and capers. The olives and capers are finely chopped, crushed, or blended. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is then added until the mixture becomes a paste. The tapenade is often flavored based on the region it is produced but can include garlic, herbs, anchovies and lemon juice.
It is generally spread on bread or a toasted baquette for an hors d'oeuvre but can also be used as a compliment to pasta sauces.