Update and correction December 22, 2010: From time to time, I have moments of food dyslexia in the kitchen...you know, when you pour juice on your cereal, or put the milk in the pantry instead of the fridge. This recipe is a case in point. I shopped, cooked, took pictures and wrote all about figs in this recipe. But as a fellow foodie RD, Diane Welland pointed out kindly after seeing my photos, I used dates in the recipe. Sooo, I think this recipe works well with either figs or dates!
If you're looking for a quick and easy appetizer to keep the hordes out of the kitchen while you're preparing a feast, try this delicous fig olive tapenade. I've added chopped walnuts and minced garlic to give a more complex blend of textures and flavor.
What's wonderful about delicious tapenades is that they are so simple to prepare and can be made ahead of time. In fact, this spread tastes better after it has been refrigerated a few days, because the flavors are fully blended. In my cook book, that's the perfect dish for entertaining, no last-minute culinary acrobatics.
Fig olive tapenade is divine with brie on rustic crusty bread or any type of savory cracker, but can also be served without cheese as shown here.
Tapenades are high in fat so a little dab will do ya from a caloric perpsective, but with olives, olive oil and walnuts as ingredients in this recipe, you're getting a good dose of health-promoting monounsaturated fats.
Yield: 24 appetizer servings
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
30 black olives, pitted (I prefer Kalamata)
3/4 c walnuts
10 whole dried figs, pitted
3 cloves garlic
3/4 c olive oil
Finely chop the first three ingredients separately and place in a 2 quart glass dish (with a cover). The figs are rather cantankerous when it comes to chopping and may gum up your knife and cutting board. If necessary, rince your knife with hot water and complete chopping. The chopped figs tend to stick together. Don't worry, once the olive oil is added, they will mix well with the other ingredients.
Mince garlic and add to dish. Pour olive oil over ingredients. Mix well with a spoon. Cover and refrigerate. Two hours before serving, remove from refrigerator to bring to room temperature.
Serve with slices of rustic bread, crackers or brie cheese.
Per-serving Nutritional Profile:
Fat, 10 g
Saturated Fat, 1 g
Cholesterol, 0 mg
Carbs, 3 g
Dietary Fiber, 1 g
Protein, 2 g
Sodium, 50 mg
Vitamin A, 0% Daily Value
Vitamin C, 0% Daily Value
Calcium, 2% Daily Value
Iron, 2% Daily Value