I promised in my last (and first) blog entry to post Rosemary's fig and olive tapenade recipe when I got it and ... sweet Rosemary sent it almost as fast as I requested it. (I hope you don't mind I am sharing, Rosemary?) I reciprocated with my own fig-walnut tapenade recipe, for which I received the honors of first-place winner of the coveted Hannaford HR/Retail Operations tailgating cook-off last fall around this time. So, I thought I would share them both here, because God knows I am a pig in mud when it comes to figs ... especially when they meet olives! And this is the perfect time of year to enjoy figs!
Rosemary's Lemon, Figs and Olives
I start by having a pound of dried figs, 2 lemons at room temp and a pound of pitted Kalamata Olives.
Soak the Figs in just enough boiling water as to cover.
Let sit for 1/2 hour - pour of the water save you might need it.
Throw them into a "quezy" (aka food processor - no blender usage here).
Zest your lemons and squeeze in the juice of one lemon, now start by putting the olives in 1/3 at a time - are you needing sweeter or saltier right now- salty add more olives and some lemon zest -taste again.
If dry add a bit of the fig water. It's really a matter of taste and what the figs and the olives are doing together - I will say that I have never used more then what I have listed.
It makes a good amount and holds for about a month. Have some fun with it see how it works for you.
I use the left over juice usually in something I'm making at the same time, bread dough,. muffins, salad dressing - drink it, I just hate throwing it out. Oh, and served with a bit of feta ... yummy! (Quoting Rosemary ... don't you just love her?)
Fig and walnut tapenade with goat cheese
From: Bon Appetit magazine, October, 2001
Serves 20 as an appetizer
1 c chopped stemmed dried Calamyrna figs
1/3 c water
1/3 c chopped pitted kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp drained capers, chopped
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
2 5.5 oz logs soft fresh goat cheese, each cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1/2 c chopped toasted walnuts
1/4 c toasted walnut halves
Fresh thyme sprigs
Assorted breads and/or crackers
Combine chopped figs and 1/3 c water in heavy medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until liquid evaporates and figs are soft, about 7 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl. Mix in olives, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, capers and chopped thyme. Season tapenade to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.) Arrange overlapping cheese rounds in circle in around edges of medium platter. Stir chopped walnuts inot tapenade; spoon into center of cheese circle. Garnish with walnut halves and thyme sprigs, if desired. Serve with breads and/or crackers.
This recipe would also be good with toasted pine nute in place of walnuts. If there's any leftover tapenade, serve it with chicken, pork or lamb.