Spicy Kalamata Olive Tapenade Raw Nori Rolls

Raw Spicy Olive Tapenade Nori Rolls

Why no love for the olives raw food chefs!?!?

When I first started getting into raw food and scouring the various blogs and websites for recipes, I was quite curious as to why there weren’t more recipes with olives. I mean, sure, they can be a bit expensive, but there’s lots of recipes out there with much more expensive ingredients. Maybe people just don’t like olives as much as me. No that can’t be it. They’re too delicious.

Chef Leah to the rescue!!

So when I saw Kalamata olives pop up on one of Leah’s recipes during our Mouthwatering Mediterranean Class in February, needless to say, I was super excited. However, she only needed a quarter cup of them, and I couldn’t find them at any of the supermarkets in Ubud. So I was forced to buy 2 kilos through a wholesaler even though I only needed a small fraction of that. After the class, I needed to figure out a way to use them in mass. I felt like I was wasting them by simply tossing a few in my salads and snacking on them – that they had too much potential not to make them the feature ingredient in a recipe. After a bit of research, I discovered the idea of the Olive Tapenade. Drawing inspiration from a few different sites, I made my own adaptation. I hope you enjoy it. But first, a little bit about Kalamata Olives.

A Bit of Background & Nutritional Information on Kalamata Olives

Olives have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. It has been shown that they might also prevent bone loss. One of its key phytonutrients, Hydroxytyrosol, has been found to increase total calcium deposits after its consumption. The Mediterranean diet has long been considered a healthy one, and olives and their oil are a major part of it. Since this is a recipe post, I don’t want to drone on about the nutritional aspects of olives, so I’ll just link you to a page I found quite informative. WHFoods Olives Profile

Kalamata Olives have PDO status, meaning that their origin of destination and quality is protected by EU laws. Essentially, if you’re eating a Kalamata olive you know that it was grown in the city of Kalamata in Southern Greece and it was hand picked. It makes you feel good to know that the ingredients you’re using in a recipe are of a high quality and were processed with care.

Spicy Kalamata Olive Tapenade Raw Nori Rolls Recipe

All the products linked to below are from UbudDirect, my favorite online Organic Grocery Store in Bali, and are affiliate links. This means RawFoodBali receives a very small percentage of any purchases you make after clicking one of these links. The prices stay the same, and you help support me so I can keep providing you high quality content and information about healthy living in Bali 🙂

1 cup kalamata olives (deseeded)
4 tsp chopped onions
1 cup pistachios
2 tbsp avocado
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp capers
¼ tsp cayenne
¼ tsp hot chili powder

Process all ingredients except for pistachios in Food Processor until desired consistency is reached. Add pistachios at the end and pulse a few times.


Notes : 

The capers I had weren’t that strong, so if you have really strong capers you might want to use less of them or less lemon juice because the recipe could get really sour. This is one of those great recipes that you can use to finish off small amounts of various fresh ingredients you have lying around that you don’t want to let go to waste.

This recipe has turned out slightly different every time I’ve made it. Which is a lot of times since I had to buy 2 kilos of olives. The taste of the olives, cayenne pepper & chili powder is so strong and delicious that you can add all sorts of different ingredients to prevent waste, improve the nutritional profile, or change the texture to suit your desires. I didn’t have any at the time, but I love to put leafy greens in this recipe because any opportunity to add those bad boys to a meal should be taken.

How much you process/blend this recipe is a matter of personal preference and usage. For Nori Rolls I like to have some crunchiness and texture, but this recipe would work well as a dip for a Crudité and in that case I might use the blender and make the recipe a bit creamier with more avocado.

Plain Jicama Rice

1 cup Jicama (peeled & cut into chunks)

Process in food processor until pieces are approximately the size of rice. Strain as much moisture out as possible with nut milk bag.

Notes : 

Most Jicama “rice” recipes I see have some oil or vinegar in them, which definitely improve the flavor, but for Nori Rolls I want the outside layer to be dry. This part of the recipe is for function not taste. The tapenade has such a vibrant flavor that I don’t need the “rice” to be flavorful as well. When you have lots of moisture in the outer layer, it seeps into the Nori wraps, and they get soggy. I usually make food for one, so I need recipes that keep well. No one wants to eat soggy day old Nori Rolls.


It actually looks like Rice!!


Roll it up

Add a rectangular layer of Jicama Rice to the wrap and pat down with hands/spatula to compact it. I find that if the rice is compact you have a solid base to roll around. Add a layer of the tapenade, and then your favorite fruits/veggies/whatever you like to add to your Nori rolls. I put carrots, cucumber, jicama and avocado in this one. Roll it up.



I’m still working on my sushi rolling skills. Currently I don’t have a roller and just use my hands, but I would love to hear opinions on techniques in the comments. Slice and Serve.