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This recipe is always a great choice for entertaining because you can cater it specifically to your tastes and the amount of effort you want to put into it. We love using the classic pesto, tapenade and bell pepper dip, but you may want to try something different. Similarly, this recipe revolves around the use of a food processor, but if you want to make this the easiest thing ever, go ahead and buy the dips ahead of time, so all you have to do is spread them out on your bread slices! Easiest appetizer ever? Quite possibly. Whether or not you decide to make this appetizer from scratch, we love the fun, colored result we get, and we know your guests will too! Who’s ready for tea time?!

Tri-Colored Tea Sandwiches

Yields 24 mini sandwiches


  • 24 slices white bread


  • 2 cups basil, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecorino romano or parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts


  • 8 oz. pitted kalamata olives, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 anchovy fillet
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon capers

Roasted Pepper Pesto:

  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted, skin removed
  • 6 oz. green olives, pitted
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Cut off the crusts from every slice of bread.
  2. For pesto: combine basil, garlic and pine nuts in food processor and pulse for 10 seconds.
  3. Add cheese and drizzle in olive oil, pulsing until smooth.
  4. For tapenade: place olives, anchovy and capers in food processor and pulse for 15 seconds.
  5. Pour in olive oil and lemon juice and pulse until smooth.
  6. Taste and adjust lemon juice or olive oil if necessary.
  7. For Red Pepper Pesto: cut pepper into slices and place in food processor with green olives.
  8. Add garlic and pulse until just broken down.
  9. Add olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Pulse for 10 seconds but keep mixture semi-chunky.
  10. To assemble sandwiches: lay bread out on a flat surface. Spread 1-2 tablespoons of red pepper pesto on 6 slices of bread and set aside.
  11. Spread out the same amount of tapenade on another 6 slices of bread and place those slices on top of the pepper covered slices.
  12. Spoon pesto evenly over another 6 slices and place on top of tapenade.
  13. Cover with remaining 6 slices of bread and cut sandwiches into quarters.
  14. Top with a kalamata olive and a basil or mint leaf and serve immediately (or chilled).

    Recipe adapted from Over Time Cook