Fig-Olive Tapenade

If you know me at all, you won’t be surprised that I’m absolutely smitten, head over heals in love with appetizers. I often order from the appetizer menu when I eat out, enjoying two and sometimes three starters for dinner, not leaving any room for a main course. I love the light and flirtatious nature of appetizers so much, that taking my meal to the next level and getting an entrée is often something I forgo.

At home too, I adore making appetizers. They are quickeasy and fun. People are often reticent to make appetizers. It’s a part of the meal that’s wrongly dreaded. When I’m invited, people would have elaborate homemade main courses but serve only chips, crackers and store-bought dips. I think appetizers deserve more attention than that, being—in my opinion—the most important part of the meal.

I love tapenades of all kinds, but I had never had one with a sweet ingredient like figs. So when I saw the recipe in David Lebovitz’s book The Sweet Life in Paris, I knew I had to try it. I’m glad I did, because it was fabulous—as are all of David’s recipes! Everyone loved it, especially me. I know I’ll be making it again. I didn’t make many changes to the original recipe except that I used Kalamata instead of black olives.

Fig-Olive Tapenade

6 to 8 servings

1/2 cup dried Black Mission figs, stemmed and quartered
1 cup water
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and drained
2 anchovy fillets
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a small saucepan, simmer the figs in the water for about 15 minutes, until very tender. Drain.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the pitted olives, drained figs, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, capers, anchovies, and rosemary to create a thick paste. Pulse in the olive oil until you’ve achieved a chunky-smooth paste. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary.

Serve with slices of bread or crackers.

Jennifer Dumas

My name is Jennifer! Welcome to Dinners and Dreams. My goal here is to encourage you to try out recipes you never thought you could make at home. Furthermore, I also review products that I have used in the past or currently using to make every day buying decisions easier and to ensure you get the best value for your money.

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