Fig and Olive Tapenade

Here’s a quick appetizer. Try it with Prosecco.


  • 1/2 cup stemmed and quartered dried black figs (use dried Black Mission figs, if available)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup black Kalamata olives (or whatever olives you have available)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon capers, rinsed, drained and squeezed dry
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and black pepper, if necessary


In a medium-sized saucepan, simmer the figs in the water for about 30 minutes, until very tender. Drain, reserving a few tablespoons of the liquid.

In a food processor or with an immersion blender, pulse the pitted olives, drained figs, lemon juice, mustard, capers, and fresh rosemary to create a thick paste. Pulse in the olive oil until you’ve achieved a chunky-smooth paste. Season with black pepper and salt. (The spread can be thinned with a bit of the reserved fig poaching liquid.).

Serve tapenade with slices of baguette or pita triangles. Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and fresh thyme, or a dusting of chili powder. Then toast on a baking sheet in the oven until nice and crisp.