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Easy Olive Tapenade with Dried Figs: Salty and Sweet Awesomeness

tapenade with figsThe figs in this tapenade make for a little bit of surprise. Tapenade usually complements the salty, savory flavors of the olives with other salty ingredients- anchovies, capers, etc. So the sweetness of the figs against the saltiness of the olives is a little unexpected. When we served this at a party all our guests were trying to figure out what the sweet ingredient was. An appetizer that tastes great is fantastic for a party, but one that tastes great and gets people talking? You can’t ask for much more than that.

Tapenade with Dried Figs (adapted from David Lebovitz)

1/2 cup dried figs, quartered
3/4 cup water
1 1/4 cups kalamata olives, rinsed
2 teaspoons grainy mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 small clove garlic
1/2 tablespoon capers, rinsed and excess water squeezed
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 cup good olive oil

In a small saucepan, heat the water and the dried figs until the water is almost boiling, turn heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the figs, reserving any extra liquid. In the bowl of your food processor combine the figs, olives, and all of the other ingredients except the olive oil. Pulse several times–you want to mixture to have some texture, so be sure not to over-process. Drizzle in the olive oil, check the salt and acid levels, and adjust if necessary.

Serve with toasted pita triangles, crackers, or baguette. The tapenade can be made up to three days in advance–keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.

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