25 October 2016Last updated

Food | Recipes

Tapenade tips

Friday’s very own celebrity chef Silvena Rowe is happy to answer all your kitchen queries

Silvena Rowe
2 Feb 2016 | 12:08 pm
  • Source:iStock

Q Please suggest an easy recipe for tapenade.

A Tapenade is a delicious relish made mainly with olives. It is extremely versatile as well – it can be used as a sandwich spread, as a marinade or even as a salad dressing. What’s more, it’s really easy to make and very healthy. Here’s my recipe:

Roughly chop ½ cup each of black and green olives, 2 cloves garlic and 1 tbsp of capers (optional.)

Place them in a food processor along with 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp lemon juice and a pinch of black pepper. Pulse it a few times, until the mixture has a coarse texture.

For some variation, add minced or finely chopped smoked red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh herbs like basil, or red pepper flakes to spice it up further. Spoon it into a clean jar and refrigerate.

Q Is there an easy way to sterilise jars for my home-made jam?

A Sterilising your jars or bottles before you spoon in your hot jams or preserves is very important 
for the long shelf-life of the foods. 
Start the process about 30 minutes before your preserve is ready so that the jar is as hot as the preserve.

Here’s what you need to do:

First, thoroughly wash your bottles with warm soapy water and rinse well. If the jars have rubber seals, remove them from the lid.

Place the jars, lids and the rubber seals in a deep saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to the boil over high heat and once it begins to boil, cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Let it boil for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 110°C and line a baking tray with a clean tea towel. Using metal tongs, remove the items from the water.

Place the jars and the lids upside down on the tray and put the tray in the oven for at least 15 minutes. Do not place the rubber seals in the oven as the dry heat of the oven will damage them.

Now you can spoon your hot jams and preserves into the hot bottles.

Do you have a question for Silvena?

Email her at Please write ‘Domestic Diva’ in the subject line of your email.

Silvena Rowe

By chef Silvena Rowe