This Mediterranean-style spread and great party appetizer is a wonderful combination of sweet figs nicely balanced with salty, sharp olives. Pine nuts and basil add even richer flavour. Serve this tapenade with a creamy cheese, such as brie or goat cheese. The tastes mingle beautifully when combined on a slice of baguette or a cracker.
1 cup dried black mission figs*
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup coarsely chopped basil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 medium garlic cloves, chopped
* Dried black mission figs are available at many supermarkets and fine food stores in the same aisle as other bagged, dried fruits.
Step 1: Place the figs in a pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat.
Step 2: Remove from the heat and let the figs plump up in the water for 15 minutes. Drain well.
Step 3: Place the figs in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until well combined and finely chopped; do not purée. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight to allow the flavours to meld. (Refrigerated in a tightly sealed jar, the tapenade will keep for at least a week.)
Step 4: Serve the tapenade with slices of baguette or crackers to spread it on.
Note: To make a delicious canapé, spread toasted baguette rounds with a soft and creamy goat cheese. Top the cheese with a spoonful of tapenade. Garnish each canapé with a small, thin slice of pear and a small basil leaf.
See more recipes from Eric Akis.
Reprinted with permission from Eric Akis's Everyone Can Cook Everything (2012 Whitecap Books).