Make Ahead

Fig and Olive Tapenade

by:
January 14, 2011
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

I love figs. I love olives. I always have a good supply of both on hand. I wanted a spread to go with crostini for an impromptu gathering one evening, and I went searching to see what I had in my pantry. I came out with a jar of Kalamata olives, a jar of big, green, pimiento-stuffed martini olives, and a box of dried Mission figs. Fifteen minutes later, I had this tapenade, and I still have people asking for the recipe. —Kayb

Test Kitchen Notes

This is our new throw-together-10-minutes-before-the-guests-show-up appetizer. The figs and olives strike a lovely balance of savory and sweet, with the balsamic vinegar adding twang and the rosemary anchoring the spread with its woodsy scent. We made ours in a food processor and loved the fine texture, but chop it all rustic-like if you prefer. Crackers or crostini are a must, but serve it with fresh goat cheese (or parmesan, or blue) for even more party karma. - A&M —The Editors

  • Serves 8 as a party snack
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces dried figs
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Mince figs and olives finely (or, if you prefer a finer texture, pulse a few times in the food processor).
  2. Add rosemary, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil and mix (or process). You may need to add a little more olive oil to get to the texture and consistency you want.
  3. Serve as a dip or spread with crostini and crackers. I like to serve it alongside goat cheese.
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I'm a business professional who learned to cook early on, and have expanded my tastes and my skills as I've traveled and been exposed to new cuisines and new dishes. I love fresh vegetables, any kind of protein on the grill, and breakfasts that involve fried eggs with runny yolks. My recipes tend toward the simple and the Southern, with bits of Asia or the Mediterranean or Mexico thrown in here and there. And a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a float in the lake, as pictured, is a pretty fine lunch!