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How to Make Roasted Marrow Bones with Tomato Caper Tapenade on cutting board with toast points

How to Make Roasted Marrow Bones with Tomato Caper Tapenade

You’re in luck, this post How to Make Roasted Marrow Bones with Tomato Caper Tapenade may be the tastiest thing you’ve ever seen!

How to Make Roasted Marrow Bones with Tomato Caper Tapenade in the background

Delicious Is An Understatement

This recipe of roasted bone marrow with green tomato caper tapenade is my secret weapon. I prepare this baby on the most special of occasions. This recipe has been in my arsenal for the past eight years and any time I put it into action, it’s to rave reviews. The richness of marrow on toast points (gf, of course), crispness of green tomatoes, zestiness of lemon, brininess of capers, and freshness of the shallots and parsley bring about a perfectly balanced bite.

How to Make Roasted Marrow Bones with Tomato Caper Tapenade…. say that again?

The first time I had bone marrow with toast was at this quaint little wine bar called Volo Restaurant and Wine Bar in the Roscoe Village neighborhood of Chicago. If you’re ever in the area, it’s worth a visit for a flight of wine and some small plates. That first roasted bone marrow, served on toasted brioche with sea salt and blackberry jam was mind blowing! I drool just thinking of it.

That first experience set me on a marrow kick. I sought out restaurants with marrow on the menu. If it was there, I was coming! While marrow is incredibly rich, it’s flavor is unbalanced on its own. It’s pure umami deliciousness, that when balanced out with tangy, fresh ingredients, gets exponentially more flavorful and interesting.

Enter Green Tomato Caper Tapenade!

Back in the mid 2010’s my parents had moved to Minnesota, one sister in Arizona, and the other sister (y’all know Hillary), was all the way down in Champagne, IL. Having the immediate family over for dinner, which I loved, wasn’t very practical. Luckily, my Aunt Annie and Uncle Steve lived within a few “L” stops, so every few weeks we’d get together, catch up, and eat a delicious meal we aptly named, “Family Dinner!”

During the days of my marrow kick, I stopped in after work at my local butcher, Paulina Meat Market looking for inspiration. And what did I found? Obviously, some alluringly beautiful marrow bones, just tempting me from beyond the butcher’s meat case! With “Family Dinner” a few hours away, I scrapped the idea of Fried Green Tomatoes (another favorite of mine), scavenged the fridge for further inspiration, and started chopping! The next thing you know, an emerald Green Tomato Caper Tapenade was born.

Fast forward to the blog’s founding a year ago, my Aunt Annie urged me to get this recipe posted. More recently, after last Christmas, I made this Rich Roasted Marrow with Crisp Green Tomato Caper Tapenade for my Aunt and Uncle, Chris and Scott of Cafe Sucre Farine. With rave reviews, they also urged me to finally write down and share this recipe. Two aunts later and here we are!

Close up of green tomato caper tapenade

Who Eats Bone Marrow?

Everyone! Well, everyone who isn’t a vegetarian. You may not realize it, but those chicken bones you cooked into an amazing broth contain marrow, that delicious Ramen or Pho you’re dreaming of also comes from marrow. Any bone broth you consume gets its richness from, you guessed it, Marrow! While we all eat/drink bone marrow in soup and noodle dishes, it’s less common to scoop it right off the bone – but you won’t be disappointed.

Benefits of Marrow

You’d be shocked to learn about all the benefits of eating bone marrow. First and foremost, it’s full of collagen which helps strengthen bones and improves bone health. It’s also rich in glucosamine and glycine which helps protect against joint pain and osteoarthritis and reduces inflammation. Beyond that, it’s loaded with vitamins! While the list goes on, it’s worth researching the benefits yourself, HealthNews.com has a great article called, What Are The Health Benefits of Bone Marrow?

Roasted marrow bones with Maldon salt and toast points

The Superfood: Roasted Marrow Bones with Tomato Caper Tapenade

Interestingly enough, this recipe full of deliciousness is a bit of a superfood! Marrow in and of itself falls into that category, and also the main ingredients of the tapenade do too! I have a huge passion for capers and as it turns out, they’re rich in antioxidants. Not only that, but according to Cookist.com, they’re a great source for protein, fiber, calcium, and iron as well! While high in sodium, those briny little blossoms are down right delightful.

Tomatoes, clearly, are the other main ingredient of the Green Tomato Caper Tapenade. These guys receive their superfood credentials from an abundance of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and lycopene! Beyond that, the seeds of tomatoes also contain fiber and saponins, which are anti-inflammatory.

If you really want to be healthy, skip the amazing toast points and stack the tapenade directly onto the marrow! Crazy to think that this Rich Roasted Marrow with Crisp Green Tomato Caper Tapenade is an actual super-duper food!

Empty marrow bone with wooden spoon

Tips and Tricks of Roasted Marrow Bones with Tomato Caper Tapenade

  • Make the green tapenade up to a day in advance and refrigerate. The flavors meld together and makes for a delightful tapenade.
  • Can I use red tomatoes? Yes and no, you want your tomatoes to be fim, very ripe tomatoes will go to mush. Green tomatoes add a crispness to it. If you do use red tomatoes, make sure they’re firm.
  • Soak Your Marrow: It’s not necessary, but some recipes call for it. By soaking your marrow in cold water and salt, then refrigerate for 12-24 hours it will remove excessive blood splotches and flush the marrow. Change the water every 4-6 hours. I generally don’t do it, but it does leave a cleaner looking marrow bone.
  • Have your butcher cut the bone lengthwise, it makes reaching the marrow most accessible. Without it you generally have to use a marrow spoon like this on Amazon. Round cuts work well, it’s just not as user friendly. (See below)
  • Buy extra marrow bones, it’s difficult to tell how much marrow will be in each bone do to bone density. They’re quick and easy to roast and unused ones can be frozen and used for soups or broths.
  • Your bones should be white and pink in color. The scent should be a light meatiness, while some people want them clear of meat, I don’t mind a bit more of a rustic look.
  • Do I need to dethaw my marrow bones? No, but double your cook time at 450°F to approximately 30-35 minutes.
  • To dethaw, place your frozen marrow bones in the fridge overnight. Don’t worry if it’s still slightly frozen, add a few extra minutes to the roasting time until the marrow starts bubbling.
  • Against The Grain has some pretty solid baguettes, they’re usually pretty easy to find in the frozen section of the grocery store.
Marrow bone roasted with thyme and sea salt

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How to Make Roasted Marrow Bones with Tomato Caper Tapenade

5.0 from 3 votes
Course: Appetizer, DinnerCuisine: French, American


Prep time


Cooking time



A delicious, straightforward recipe for roasted bone marrow with a green tomato caper tapenade. A rich and balanced delight!

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  • Green Tomato & Caper Tapenade
  • 2 Cups Green Tomatoes-Finely Diced (About 3 Medium Tomatoes)

  • 1/3 Cup Shallots- Finely Diced

  • 1/2 tsp Fresh Garlic-Crushed (About One Large Clove)

  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Parsley-Chopped

  • 1/2 Cup Capers-Strained

  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil

  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

  • 1 tsp Lemon Zest

  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt (more if needed)

  • Marrow Bones
  • 8 Marrow Bones

  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt

  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper

  • 1 tsp Fresh Thyme (Optional)

  • Accompaniments
  • 2 tsp Flaky Sea Salt (to sprinkle on the marrow conservatively)

  • Toast Points or Crusty French Bread (GF)


  • Green Tomato & Caper Tapenade
  • Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and mix. It’s best if you let the tapenade marinate in the fridge for a couple hours to meld all the flavors.
  • Marrow Bones
  • Preheat your oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (less mess).
  • Pat dry your marrow bones and place them on the baking sheet cut side up.
  • Lightly salt and pepper them and sprinkle with the optional Fresh Thyme.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook the marrow for approximately 15-20 minutes.
  • Once the marrow starts to bubble, give them a quick broil and remove from heat.
  • Serve the marrow bones with the Green Tomato Caper Tapenade with toast points or crusty french bread.

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One Comment

  1. Jackie Haen

    Steven made this for a group at his house. I have never tasted anything better. It’s a must for an appetizer. I can’t wait to make it myself.

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